Malawi embraces data to bolster health systems

Malawi embraces data to bolster health systems

Consortium to implement US$10-million backed Kuunika Data Use Interventions project.

The Malawi government recently launched a project called 'Kuunika Data Use Interventions' to improve health systems by incorporating data driven decisions.

The project's implementation is supported by a consortium of four organisations namely Lighthouse Trust (LHT), Baobab Health Trust (BHT), Luke International – Norway (LIN) and International Training and Education Centre for Health (I-TECH).

In 2016 the country signed a US$10-million financing agreement with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to fund activities under the Project.

Andrew Likaka, Director of Quality Management for the Project, said the objectives are to improve planning, performance, and quality of health services with better use of information.

"There are three main outcomes to be realised: improved data supply, improved data demand and improved data governance," he said.

Dan Namarika, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Population said the project follows the global community's inauguration of the Principles for Donor Alignment for Digital Investment.

"Our ministry is working on the new eHealth Strategy to guide both the Ministry and partners on how to coordinate resources."

Likaka explained, "The Project has also fast-tracked the development of underpinning architecture and infrastructure to strengthen data supply and access which consists: the Master Health Facility Registry, the Interoperability Layer and other existing health systems linkages."

The Project is now working to enable automatic exchange of data between OpenLMIS open source, cloud-based electronic logistics management information system purpose-built to manage health commodity for the supply chain system and District Health Information Systems (DHIS 2).