Kenya: Intrahealth, CGI Initiative Bridges Tech Gap Among Health Workers
BY PETER NALIKA
The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), through IntraHealth international will use electronic/mobile technology tools to train health workers in Kenya. This announcement was made at the Serena Hotel, on Monday morning with the training expected to equip Kenyan front-line health workers with the skills and knowledge they need to tackle the complex health challenges facing the Kenyan population.
Pape Gaye, President and CEO, IntraHealth International says the CGI brings an opportunity to manage a comprehensive platform, by coming up with a health technology model which can be replicated in different countries. "The initiative is about finding smart ways to package the work done by health workers through technology so that they can be more effective".
CGI has been experiencing various challenges in training health workers, and the organization has started this initiative since the stake holders believe Kenya has the capacity to amplify the chances of success. Gaye says the country has a good platform in terms of developing health solutions, an example of AMREF as pioneers in eHealth.
IntraHealth and its partners will use locally designed technology to improve training and reach more health workers--who will then provide much-needed primary health care services in the remote Kitui and Kisumu provinces in Kenya. Women and girls,especially, will benefit by having greater access to quality family planning and reproductive health services and information.
The partnership will use open source and open access technologies that facilitate sharing. This open approach will facilitate wide-scale adoption and rapid scale-up throughout Kenya, engage local Kenyan software developers and work toward expanding the role of women in technology.
Technology platforms are the next frontier in delivering solutions, the CGI and IntraHealth initiative is a movement that will create a culture, a culture of using technology to solve issues, creating it from the ground level to the upwards and not the other way round.
Gayesays having independent systems, doesn't create cohesiveness but partnerships reduce competition, increases collaboration and helps organizations become effective. The initiative therefore will employ tools developed in collaboration with the Government of Kenya and African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) to train frontline health workers with the skills and knowledge they need to tackle the complex health challenges facing the Kenyan population.
The program containing six modules will initially be tested with 80 front-line health workers. This phase alone translates into better access to health services for up to 400,000 Kenyans. The program will be low-cost as well as easy to use and adapt, and it will interface with other electronic applications already in use in Kenya. Once tested, the program will become available throughout Kenya, reaching exponentially more health workers than traditional training at a fraction of the cost.
It is an integrated combination of technologies from basic mobile phones and tablets to web-based interfaces and specialized medical teleconferencing tools.These technologies will all be linked and tailored for usability in specific regions offering an agile mechanism for providing the right type of training.
Key partners with IntraHealth on this initiative include Avallian, iHub, Intel, Medic Mobile, and Safaricom. The initiative will build on IntraHealth's long-standing collaboration with the Government of Kenya, African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) and other partners with IntraHealth Kenya programs.
IntraHealth International is a global health nonprofit that champions the critical role of health workers in health and development. For over 30 years, in almost 100 countries, IntraHealth has empowered hundreds of thousands of health workers to better serve communities in need, fostering local solutions to health care challenges by improving health worker performance.