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Health information, research, evidence and knowledge

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Data are crucial in improving health.[1] The ultimate objective of collecting data is to inform health programme planning as well as policy-making and, ultimately, global health outcomes and equity. A well-functioning health information system empowers decision-makers to manage and lead more effectively by providing useful evidence at the lowest possible cost.

A health information system has been aptly described as "an integrated effort to collect, process, report and use health information and knowledge to influence policy-making, programme action and research". It consists of:

  • inputs (resources)
  • processes (selection of indicators and data sources; data collection and management)
  • outputs (information products and information dissemination and use).

The role of a health information system is to generate, analyse and disseminate sound data for public health decision-making in a timely manner. Data have no value in themselves. The ultimate objective of a health information system is to inform action in the health sector. Performance of such a system should therefore be measured not only on the basis of the quality of the data produced, but also on evidence of the continued use of these data for improving health systems' operations and health status.

The health information system[2]

The availability and use of information enables:

  • improved definition of a population
  • recognition of problems
  • setting of priorities in the research agenda
  • identification of effective and efficient interventions
  • determination of potential impact (prediction)
  • planning and resource allocation
  • monitoring of performance or progress
  • evaluation of outcomes after interventions
  • continuity in medical and health care
  • healthy behaviour in individuals and groups.

It also empowers citizens by enabling their participation in health care, policy and decision processes; and empowers countries and international partners by enabling better transparency and accountability through use of objective and verifiable processes.

Health knowledge gaps are where essential answers on how to improve the health of the people in Lesotho are missing. This is an issue related to the acquisition or generation of health information and research evidence. The “know-do gap” is the failure to apply all existing knowledge to improve people’s health. This is related to the issue of sharing and translation of health information, research evidence, or knowledge. Although there are major structural constraints, the key to narrowing the knowledge gap and sustaining health and development gains is a long-term commitment to strengthen national health information systems.

This section of the analytical profile is structured along the following lines:

Contents

Analytical summary

Percentage of civil registration coverage for births in Kenya and neighboring countries, 2000-2008
Percentage of civil registration coverage for births in Kenya and neighboring countries, 2000-2008.JPG

Percentage of civil registration coverage of deaths in Kenya and neighboring countries, 2000-2008
Percentage of civil registration coverage of deaths in Kenya and neighboring countries, 2000-2008.JPG

Context

Structural organization of health information

Data sources and generation

Data management

Access to existing global health information, evidence and knowledge

Storage and diffusion of information, evidence and knowledge

Research

Use of information, evidence and knowledge

Leverage information and communication technologies

Availability of IT solutions


Global Observatory for eHealth
“eHealth for women’s and children’s health” 2013 survey
World Health Organization, Country profiles

National eHealth policy or strategy

The eHealth Strategy 2011 – 2017 is being partially implemented and has even been put into the proposed Health Bill to legalize it and give it further mandate. There are many government initiatives for implementation of this strategy and a stakeholders’ consultative meeting on its implementation was also held. However there is no special funding for eHealth and the policy does not make specific reference to women’s and children’s health. kenya_final_national_ehealth_strategy_2011-2017_.pdf

eHealth systems

Registration of births and deaths is done partially using electronic systems since 2012 and the process is underway to enter old records into the soft copy format. There is District Health Information System (DHIS-2) under Ministry of Health; thought interoperability is still a challenge. Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) tracks health financing at national and regional level and the Division of Policy and Planning at national level together with the Ministry of Health is responsible.

Women’s and children’s health policy or strategy

Women’s and children’s health policy and strategy are in place supported by the Jubilee Government’s vision 2030. RH Strategy 2009-2015.pdf

Monitoring the status of women’s and children’s health

The Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health ensures monitoring of the 11 relevant parameters using both electronic and other methods as shown in the joint statement by WHO, ICM and FIGO.

National overview of eHealth initiatives for women’s and children’s health

There are eHealth initiatives by Public, Public-private partnership or Donor funding

Health services delivery
  • Malezi Bora Target health messages for three groups and they also use the electric print media/posters (established project).
  • Mobile SMS to send and receive messages through radios; Government of Kenya, SAFARICOM; WHO, and other partners are involved and finance the exercise; Evaluation after exercise e.g. Last measles campaigns; The Malezi Bora /SIAs Campaigns.
  • leconsultation and eLearning support by AMREF, DFID, MOH or Government and Indiana University; Private facilities such as Aga Khan hospital*
Health monitoring and surveillance
  • SR weekly reporting using mobile and synchronization by use of desktop computers at district level for timely reporting and prompt response to a cause of outbreaks; WHO supports the process.
  • rths and deaths reporting by Mobile phone SMS to alert registration agents and the registrar; two districts are under pilot by MOH, WHO and Civil Registration department at Naivasha and Gilgil districts (Pilot)
Access to information for health professionals
  • DHIS2 is the National data warehouse and has dashboards supported by OSLO University, USAID and WHO
Other eHealth programs
  • Nil
Possible barriers to implementing eHealth services

Leadership, Legal, Infrastructure and Human resources were sighted. Kenya Health policy, Proposed Health Bill and other processes are underway to address these barriers

Knowledge base - eHealth for women’s and children’s health

Yes they are willing to share information

ICT training for health sciences students

Yes, 3 universities have a Health Records and Information management course

Continuing education in ICT for health professionals

Yes but no explanatory note

Internet health information quality

Government interventions to voluntary compliance are the available approaches. There are specific websites dedicated to women’s and children’s health and data is regularly published.

Online safety for children

No online security specifically targeted for children.

Privacy of personal and health-related data

No legislation on this.

Social media and women’s and children’s health

This exists in form of advertising health products for women and children, TV talk shows on Health among others.

Extent of integration of the HIS

Global Observatory for eHealth: eHealth for women’s and children’s health, 2013 survey, World Health Organization, Geneva

1. National eHealth policy or strategy

The eHealth Strategy 2011 – 2017 is being partially implemented and has even been put into the proposed Health Bill to legalize it and give it further mandate. There are many government initiatives for implementation of this strategy and a stakeholders’ consultative meeting on its implementation was also held. However there is no special funding for eHealth and the policy does not make specific reference to women’s and children’s health. kenya_final_national_ehealth_strategy_2011-2017_.pdf

2. eHealth systems

Registration of births and deaths is done partially using electronic systems since 2012 and the process is underway to enter old records into the soft copy format. There is District Health Information System (DHIS-2) under Ministry of Health; thought interoperability is still a challenge. Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) tracks health financing at national and regional level and the Division of Policy and Planning at national level together with the Ministry of Health is responsible.

3. Women’s and children’s health policy or strategy

Women’s and children’s health policy and strategy are in place supported by the Jubilee Government’s vision 2030. RH Strategy 2009-2015.pdf

4. Monitoring the status of women’s and children’s health

The Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health ensures monitoring of the 11 relevant parameters using both electronic and other methods as shown in the joint statement by WHO, ICM and FIGO. http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2004/9241591692.pdf

5. National overview of eHealth initiatives for women’s and children’s health

There are eHealth initiatives by Public, Public-private partnership or Donor funding

Health services delivery

Malezi Bora Target health messages for three groups and they also use the electric print media/posters (established project).
Mobile SMS to send and receive messages through radios; Government of Kenya, SAFARICOM; WHO, and other partners are involved and finance the exercise; Evaluation after exercise e.g. Last measles campaigns; The Malezi Bora /SIAs Campaigns.
Teleconsultation and eLearning support by AMREF, DFID, MOH or Government and Indiana University; Private facilities such as Aga Khan hospital

Health monitoring and surveillance

IDSR weekly reporting using mobile and synchronization by use of desktop computers at district level for timely reporting and prompt response to a cause of outbreaks; WHO supports the process.
Births and deaths reporting by Mobile phone SMS to alert registration agents and the registrar; two districts are under pilot by MOH, WHO and Civil Registration department at Naivasha and Gilgil districts (Pilot)

Access to information for health professionals

DHIS2 is the National data warehouse and has dashboards supported by OSLO University, USAID and WHO

Other eHealth programs:

Nil

6. Possible barriers to implementing eHealth services

Leadership, Legal, Infrastructure and Human resources were sighted. Kenya Health policy, Proposed Health Bill and other processes are underway to address these barriers

7. Knowledge base - eHealth for women’s and children’s health

Yes they are willing to share information

8. ICT training for health sciences students

Yes, 3 universities have a Health Records and Information management course

9. Continuing education in ICT for health professionals

Yes but no explanatory note

10. Internet health information quality

Government interventions to voluntary compliance are the available approaches. There are specific websites dedicated to women’s and children’s health and data is regularly published.

11. Online safety for children:

No online security specifically targeted for children.

12. Privacy of personal and health-related data:

No legislation on this.

13. Social media and women’s and children’s health:

This exists in form of advertising health products for women and children, TV talk shows on Health among others.


Endnotes: sources, methods, abbreviations, etc.

References

  1. Everybody’s business. Strengthening health systems to improve health outcomes. WHO’s framework for action (pdf 843.33kb). Geneva, World Health Organization, 2007
  2. Framework and standards for country health information systems, 2nd ed. (pdf 1.87Mb). Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008