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Everything comes down to the numbers

The only way to effectively deliver a service, of any kind, in any part of the world is to have a good understanding of the numbers. Because these days everything comes down to numbers and nobody argues with the numbers. It’s a capitalist world.

In this context, therefore, there are only two things that matter: big data and the appropriate infrastructure to make use of it. In fact, the difference between success and failure is defined by your ability to acquire high quality data and achieve depth in analytics. Resources are limited so everybody, in all sectors, is in a constant battle with numbers. We are trying to increase the positive numbers, reduce the negative numbers and, where budgets are concerned, we are in a life or death battle to balance the numbers.

Nowhere does this battle become more obvious than in the health sector. Because, here, the negative numbers mostly refer to real deaths of real people. Success in “reducing negative numbers” now actually means keeping people alive. So in this context, how do you efficiently deliver health services? Also, how do you make sure that you don’t waste resources by sending them to an area that doesn’t need them? And how do you also make sure that an area that needs resources is not overlooked?
Answer: you find a way to collect and analyze as much data as you can so that you can better inform your resource planning. There is no other way really. That said, experience will teach us that this is a tall order when working in low infrastructure environments such as Transmara District. I mean, on average, it takes 3 hours (one way) to reach a clinic in good weather. If it rains, then all bets are off. There are between 43 and 60 clinics in the district, so if the only way to collect reports, carry out surveillance, distribute medicine and conduct emergency response is to travel to each clinic then we are in real trouble. Add this to the fact that on average it takes a health worker about 3 days to compile reports and format them in the necessary format that GoK find useful for resource allocation and you realize that we are in real trouble.

This is exactly the space that CliniPAK was created to work in. Here’s a tool that can be installed in each clinic and can be used to collect data and produce real time reports. It’s been optimized to work with solar power and car batteries and literally works at the push of just one button. The software is workflow based and is customizable so no specialized IT training is needed to work with it. Administrators can now streamline their care protocols and define their own metrics. They can, essentially, decide what numbers are important to them and increase the accuracy in capturing this data. They can do all this without ever touching paper. All they need is the CliniPAK and whatever web enabled device that they want. Yes, especially mobile devices.

CliniPAK supports remote surveillance and one click integration with DHIS2, Open MRS, CommCare. It means that we can give the GoK the big data it needs to make policy decisions and allocate resources. Which means that we can have data driven policy decisions, data driven budgets and data driven interventions and allow the health care workers to spend more time actually delivering health care services.