DISTRICT HEALTH MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS, Tanzania, United Republic of
The project called DHMIS, involves a variety of stakeholders. It is centered around the City Medical Officers (CMO) office, The African Inland Church of Tanzania (AICT), The Evangelical, Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT), the Roman Catholic Church all in Mwanza. The Regional Health Director of the Christian Social Services Commission (CSSC) acts as project Chairperson.
The main reason which triggered for this project was lack of accurate and timely data in the health sector. This is a national problem. During the Round Table workshop in 2005, health information systems were identified as an appropriate way to improve the quality of health data and to reinforce the management of the health system. This problem is more severe for health facilities owned by civil society. Without proper data, proper analysis would be impossible and hence automatically affect the quality of decisions to be made. Also without proper data keeping, access to the secretarial basket funding is limited and the interventions of the Civil Society Organizations (CSO) remains relatively small. Furthermore, a data driven health sector is more responsive to the end users, more accurate in its interventions, more accountable and fosters a learning environment that would promote the analysis of data closer to the points of data generation. This reduces the reliance on centralized knowledge generation and intervention planning. At national level the need for appropriate health information is recognized and included in the Health Systems Strengthening Program III. This is further elaborated in an eHealth strategy. In DHMIS, the national government is involved through the CMO and RMO. Staff from MoH will be invited to visit the project. A former visit resulted in substantial support.
ICT has been identified as a critical tool in development today and has vast potentials in improving the delivery of health services. The District Health Management Information Systems (DHMIS) in Mwanza envisages the establishment of an adequate network to facilitate quick and quality Health Management Information System covering the main health units and programs in the region. The project has previously supported the building of Health Management Information Systems at various facilities that are owned and managed by the three biggest Faith Based Organizations and the Government operating in Mwanza; namely DHMIS project is designed to assist the facilities and parent organizations to manage their operations better. In addition, this project has built the capacity of the CMOs office to receive, store, analyze and re-transmit vital health data both to the higher administrative levels of the government as well as downward to the data generators. These various information systems were then woven together with a simple, yet robust communication platform (AfyaPro) with which data can be shared instantaneously.