By Adhere Cavince
Over 38 officers drawn from twelve counties are at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, JKUAT for a four-day training on health data analytics and geographic information systems for informed decision making in the devolved units.
The participants will be equipped with skills and tools to collate, curate, analyze and share health information; in order to better serve the needs of residents.
Following devolution of health services, counties are struggling with collation, analysis and visualization of health data; thereby undermining decision making, and resource allocation.
The training was organized under the auspices of the Health Informatics Governance and Data Analytics (HIGDA) Project; which seeks to improve health sector’s organizational and management capacity in health informatics, monitoring, and evaluation at national and county levels.
Speaking during the opening ceremony on Monday March 26, 2018, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga noted that healthcare remains an important sector yet availability of quality, relevant and timely data, continue to hamper knowledge driven decision making.
Prof. Imbuga lauded HIGDA implementing partners and affirmed JKUAT’s commitment to ensure the project is successful and sustainable, to the benefit all stakeholders.
The Vice Chancellor’s remarks were delivered by Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs, Prof. Romanus Odhiambo.
Kiambu County Chief Health Officer, Dr. Andrew Toro said that despite the county serving over 10, 000 patients daily, analysis of the generated data remains weak.
Availability of quality data, he added, would enable Kiambu and other counties effectively respond the challenge posed by both communicable and non-communicable diseases.
“What you do, you must document. What you document, you must share,” Dr. Toro challenged the participants.
Palladium Group Kenya Country Director, Richard Ngethe said multi-institutional and cross disciplinary approach was critical in providing sustainable solutions to Kenya’s development challenges, including provision of quality healthcare services.
Besides the targeted trainings, HIGDA is also supporting the establishment of a Digital Health Applied Research Centre (DHARC) at JKUAT. The Centre hosted by the University on behalf of the Ministry of Health, will be instrumental in development of knowledge and tools to support actualization of Kenya’s Health Information System’s blueprint.
The counties represented in the training included Nairobi, Kwale, Migori, Kakamega, Mombasa, Siaya, Kilifi, Machakos, Uasin Gishu, Kisumu and Bungoma.