June 21, 2016

Kenya launches electronic system to store patient data on HIV

This post originally appeared on the Ministry of Health website for the Government of Kenya.

The government [of Kenya] has launched the National Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Data warehouse to collect and store patient and population data on HIV, to guide and inform policy formulation.

The Acting Director of Medical Services, Dr. Jackson Kioko today said the ware house, will enable the government to evaluate progress, track patients, geographically monitor the epidemic and tailor interventions to eliminate the disease by 2030.

The repository which currently has more 2,000 sites that offer HIV treatment will be interactive, allowing users to filter data at the click of a button and ensure that the information they access is up to date.

Dr. Jackson Kioko made the remarks while opening the 3rd M&E Best Practice Conference, at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies, on Monday June 13.

The Director of Medical Services stressed that the dynamic nature of HIV programming requires the uptake of technology in order to critically monitor the quality of care in the country.

“I cannot overemphasise the urgent need for adoption and scale-up of innovative and cost effective eHealth solutions, customised to meet the needs of the patient, our health service providers and health programme,” he said.

‎The National AIDS and STI Control Program (NASCOP) Head, Dr. Martin Sirengo emphasized that repository will provide stimulating findings on HIV trends in Kenya.

“If you look at HIV in children, you find that when they are young the number of male to female is equal. In adolescence, the number of females almost double, but in late adulthood, the males tends to catches up. This is why we have to focus on adolescents,” he explained.

Dr. Kioko also launched the revised HIV M&E tools and stressed the need for the health sector to adopt a Unique Patient Identifier to optimize comprehensive care of patients, by ensuring that every individual seeking health services could be uniquely identified.

‘’This is important in this era of increased movement and migration of Kenyans seeking for opportunities countrywide,” he said.

At the Conference, the World Health Organization (WHO) HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis Team Leader Brian Chirombo commended Kenya for pioneering the scaling up the use of technology in health data. “WHO will continue supporting the government of Kenya in expanding access to HIV treatment with the aim of improving data quality, use and ability to track patients,” he noted.

PEPFAR Country Coordinator Catherine Perry, said that the strengthening of HIV strategic information in Kenya had saved lives and improved the quality of life for people living with the illness.

She noted that the ability to use high data on HIV is essential for evaluating progress and development of national health data and information systems, including the attainment the 90-90-90 strategy.

“It is essential that programmes generate high quality data that can be used for policy and decision making, data cleaning and standard operating systems,” she observed.

The 90-90-90 strategy aspires to have 90 percent of all people living with HIV know their status; 90 percent of all people diagnosed with HIV receiving sustained antiretroviral therapy and the viral load of 90 percent of all people on antiretroviral.

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