ZOMBA: The Ministry of Health has launched a project which intends to increase supply and demand of health data for decision making in six districts in the country where the use of the data is expected to improve HIV and Aids response in the country.
Secretary for Health, Dr. Dan Namarika launched the program known as Kuunika Data for Action at Matawale Health Center in Zomba, Wednesday.
The Kuunika Data For action is being implemented in Lilongwe, Blantyre, Zomba, Mangochi, Thyolo and Mulanje
These are some of the districts that we are not doing very well in terms of health indicators, Dr. Namarika said adding that HIV diagnosis, treatment, viral load suppression are a challenge in the six districts.
He therefore commended the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for funding the Kuunika program which is meant to address HIV related issues in the six districts through the data analysis.
The Secretary for Health said clients on ART will easily be traced using the Kuunika program since the program is part of national HIV response that maintains strong data collection and recording system.
The program will still ensure client and patient confidentiality despite the wider online connectivity, said Dr. Namarika adding the program will ensure that data governance structures are in place from national to community health facilities.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Senior Programs Officer, Martin Gross said better use of information on health issues can save more lives.
We can save more lives by better enabling, better delivery of clinical lifesaving services to people who need them, Gross said while expressing hope for the sustainable implementation of the program.
He therefore commended the team of organizations that are actively involved in the Kuunika program such as Light House, Baobab Health Trust, I-Tech, Cooper/Smith and Luke International which he said are playing an important role in the program activities.
We are relying on the leadership that Malawi is taking, Gross said adding Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation was proud to be associated with the government of Malawi in the better use of data in the Kuunika program.
Lighthouse Trust Executive Director, Professor Sam Phiri said the goal of Kuunika is to build a good national data system architecture that will enable Malawi to collect analyses and use data to improve sector planning performance management and service delivery.
He added that this will help government reduce disease burden through improved quality and efficiency of HIV national response programming.
The program will also enable health data system to generate complete, accurate and timely HIV related health data across national, zonal, district and community level care.
Light House Trust, Baobab Health Trust, I-tech, Cooper/Smith and Luke international are partnering Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Malawi Government in the implementation of Kuunika ‘Data for Action’ program in the six districts.
40 health facilities in Zomba including Zomba Central Hospital, Zomba Mental Hospital and Matawale Health Center are doing the facility data management through the Kuunika program.
The program is being implemented under the banner ‘Improving Health Systems Through Data Driven Decisions’ and will involve electronic medical record keeping, master health facility registry, demographic data exchange, district health information system and other systems that help track ART clients.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA