Zimbabwe + 1 more

U.S. & Zimbabwe Partner in Health Information Strengthening

Harare, December 20, 2012 – On December 20, the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare (MOHCW) will receive 58 laptop computers and 30 printers at the Christmas Pass Hotel (10:00am – 1:00pm) as a result of a partnership between the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC-Zimbabwe), the government of Zimbabwe, and the Research Triangle International (RTI).

The partnership, which has provided $ 2.1 million annually since October 2010, aims to strengthen the MOHCW’s health information management system (HMIS). The partnership is funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

The goal of the CDC/RTI/MOHCW’s partnership is to support and strengthen capacity within the MOHCW to collect, analyze and disseminate quality health data. Improving the HMIS will inform decision making, planning and formulation of policies in a timely manner, and ensure efficient use of resources. The unavailability of such information can delay the MOHCW’s production of the National Health Profile (NHP), which in turn delays its ability to plan and budget for diagnostic and treatment needs of patients nationwide. The partnership is crucial as it helps institute a mechanism that guarantees availability of complete, accurate and reliable health information.

“This has been one of the most successful partnerships in terms of making health data available for evidence based decision making and information use in Zimbabwe, and we are proud to be a part of this success,” said Paula Morgan, Deputy Director of CDC-Zimbabwe

”This computer donation is important because the use of such technology will ultimately benefit patients throughout Zimbabwe. PEPFAR’s continued support to strengthen health systems in Zimbabwe demonstrates our commitment to achieving an AIDS free generation; we are actively applying every technology and scientific advance available to address HIV/AIDS.”

With PEPFAR support, RTI has facilitated the training of health workers at facility, district and provincial offices in accurate data collection and analysis since October 2009. RTI has also supported the MOHCW in the installation and roll-out of the electronic software system, District Health Information Management Systems (DHIS), in 65 districts and 8 provincial health management team offices. This has resulted in improved transmission of health information from health facilities to the MOHCW’s district, provincial and national offices between 2011 and 2012.

In addition, RTI has completed the commissioning of DHIS version 2 software which integrates HIV and TB indicators into routine health data collection systems, expected to be piloted in Manicaland Province in January 2013. This integration is important as it enables the MOHCW to monitor statistics of HIV infected pregnant women and provide critical information on our patients accessing antiretroviral therapy and TB treatment. Integration of health services at facility level also presents opportunities for timely community access to a wide range of services, efficient use of resources and early diagnosis of diseases including TB.

The United States remains fully committed and engaged with Zimbabwe in the response to HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe. Under this program, PEPFAR and CDC will continue to support strengthening of data management in Zimbabwe and evidence based decision making through the provision of technical and financial assistance.

Comments and queries should be addressed to Sharon Hudson-Dean, Public Affairs Officer. E-mail: hararepas@state.gov Tel. +263 4 758800-1, Fax: 758802. http://harare.usembassy.gov

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