Bulawayo – Partners attending the Global Fund AGYW and KP Programme Review Meeting in Bulawayo have commended the National AIDS Council for rolling out DHIS2, which had been stalled for various reasons for quite a long time.
This followed a presentation by Mr Mufaro Zhou, NAC’s IT Coordinator, who shared the progress that has been achieved in the rollout. The progress includes capturing of aggregate data through the NAC Activity Report Form and capturing client-based data administered by community cadres using DHIS 2 tracker.
The tracker captures patient level data under different programming models and assigns a Unique Identifier Code (UIC) to track beneficiaries and uptake of services at both community and health facility levels. These two DHIS2 operations are already running both on the web and on android devices. NAC has also rolled out DHIS2 in Midlands and Bulawayo provinces during the last 2 quarters, community cadres are already using android tablets to collect data about differentiated care programme uptake. Additionally, cadres from seven provinces with the exception of Harare have been trained and are expected to rollout the same training to community cadres including distributing tablets for data collection.
Responding to Mr Zhou’s presentation, participants at the review meeting commended the National AIDS Council for initiating the rollout and funding the training of 418 cadres in the two pilot provinces of Midlands and Bulawayo. Lessons from the two provinces have been used to inform system improvements and training methodology for subsequent provinces.
The potential of the DHIS2 lies in its national coverage of more than 5000 community cadres who will be capturing data on HIV prevention and treatment using supplied tablets. The collected data will be available in real-time to quicken and strengthen decision making at all levels by different stakeholders, including tracking outcomes of individual clients starting from the point of contact with HIV prevention interventions.
The rollout of DHIS2 will not be affected by limited connectivity in some areas as the software works in offline mode during data entry, requiring connectivity for syncing and uploading data at recommended intervals.