About 173 Health Surveillance Assistants in Chitipa have been trained in integrated community health information system (Ichis) which is expected to help improve healthcare services in Chitipa and ensure that communities have access to quality healthcare.
Amref Health Africa together with the Ministry of Health, Last-Mile Health, D-tree and University of Malawi computer science department are currently in Chitipa to training HSAs in the Ichis modules that have been developed.
The activity started on 23 October and will end 3rd November 2023, targeting all health facilities in the district.
Amref has procured 180 tablets, 3 laptops computers and other materials to support the training and deployment of HSAs. About 173 HSAs have been earmarked for the training covering all health facilities in Chitipa district.
According to Maxwell Mhone, Amref Health Africa Digital Health Specialist, the importance of this activity lies in significantly improving healthcare services in Chitipa district.
“The deployment of the Ichis system and tablets streamlines data collection and enhances the overall healthcare system’s efficiency. The benefits of deploying HSAs equipped with Ichis are manifold. They will improve the accuracy and efficiency of data collection, enabling quicker and more informed healthcare decisions. Additionally, the Ichis system promotes a holistic approach to healthcare, covering family planning, immunization, disease surveillance, and more, ensuring comprehensive health support at the community level,” said Mhone.
Maxwell Mhone further said that one of the initial challenges in this endeavor was the lack of a streamlined data collection system, leading to inefficiencies and delays in healthcare responses. Manual paperwork was burdensome and prone to errors.
“With the introduction of Ichis and tablet technology, these challenges are addressed, enhancing data accuracy and facilitating better healthcare outcomes in the Chitipa district.
After this initiative, the healthcare landscape in Chitipa will undergo a significant transformation. The timely and accurate data collection, along with increased coverage of healthcare services, will lead to more informed decision-making and better healthcare outcomes,” said Mhone.
One of the Senior HSAs in the district Chrissy Msukwa said the initiative means shifting away from old ways of doing things.