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AFRO-NETS> Electronic Media for District Health Managers (3)

The recently established Zambian Central Board of Health (CBoH) has prepared
a plan for what is called a "DART-HMIS": a Decentralised, Action-oriented,
Responsive, Transparent Health Management Information System" (yes, quite a
mouth full).

In essence, a new health information system will be developed, in which data
collection AND processing take place at the level of health posts and
centres, after which the info is forwarded to the district level, the
regions, and finally the central level.

Key element of this new information system is automation down to the
district level. The plan is expected to be implemented in the course of 1998.

It would be very interesting to learn from the "Zentralstelle fuer
Gesundheit" what their experiences with automation in Africa are.
There is definitely a lot of interest in the target group, but several
serious constraints have to be taken into account:

Lack of skilled and experienced people, breakdowns of computers by lack of
protection, inappropriate locations (dust, moisture etc.), fluctuations in
electric current, modems hit by lightning, no proper virus protection
policies, lack of standardisation, to name just a few.

Nevertheless, automation is not only necessary, it is unavoidable, and I am
looking forward to hearing more about the initiative.

Joost Hoppenbrouwer
Associate Professional Officer
World Health Organisation
Zambia National AIDS/STD/TB/Leprosy Programme (NASTLP)
P.O. Box 32346
Lusaka 10101
ZAMBIA

Telephone (260-1) 26.40.42 (home)
Telephone (260-1) 22.32.51 (work)
Fax       (260-1) 22.32.09 (work)
E-mail    joost@zamnet.zm

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