Health Data Centre to Improve Disease Detection and Management

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Global Integrated IT solutions provider Hewlett Packard (HP), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), today launched one in a series of five health data centres at Afya House with the objective of speeding information to save lives.The project is set to improve the quality and efficiency of disease surveillance to enhance protection and prevention by making processes such as HIV testing fast and easy. Swift communication, once disease is detected will ensure quick administering of treatment.
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation Mr. Mark Bor,said “This data centre is unprecedented in the history of the Health Ministry and represents the biggest investment in IT to date. As technology improves, so does the quality of life therefore the ministry is willing to embrace technological advancements that will help improve the health sector.”
He added that the launch of the data centre was a significant step towards modernising functions in the sector in a bid to ameliorate disease management and alleviate barriers that frustrate developmental efforts.
Together with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and the Ministry of Public Health, HP’s Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) project will dramatically improve testing and treatment for more than 120,000 infants exposed to HIV in Kenya each year.
Through the EID project, HP will set up five data centres connected to four existing laboratories. Each data centre will include the computing and storage power to connect more than 1,500 health facilities and 20,000 healthcare workers.
The equipment makes HIV testing quick and simple. Each blood sample gets a barcode, and once it’s tested, the results are recorded in a database created by software developers from Kenya’s Strathmore University. Instead of waiting for results to arrive by courier, doctors receive results via a text message sent to SMS/ GSM-enabled HP printers located throughout rural areas. Results can arrive in just a few days, which means infants can receive lifesaving treatment in good time.
Managing Director HP East Africa Mr. Ken Mbwaya said HP is providing technology that will shorten the turnaround for HIV test results to just two or three days which is a huge improvement that has the potential to save thousands of lives.
He reiterated: “The data center will facilitate provision of life-saving care to infants accelerating access to life-saving technologies and helping the government build the capacity required for high-quality care and treatment programmes.”
The data centre is to host manual processes including the District Health Information System (DIHS) which allows the government to evaluate the performance of the public health system on issues such as vaccination coverage and mortality under five among other millennium developmental goals as they relate to health.
Others include the Human Resources Information System (HRIS), Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), and the Health Sector Commodity Management among others.
The data centre will also be a disaster recovery installation for other key installations within the Ministries of Health as well as other departments/ministries of government. At the moment, it houses key routing infrastructure for the country’s integrated finance management information systems (IFMIS) which is run by the Ministry of Finance.
HP will upgrade the data centre with Three Generation Seven Servers, Core Switches, allowing connectivity to all types of networks, internal and external, HP ProCurve Switches to improve the Local Area Network at Afya House, Fibre Channel Storage which allows for storage separate from the servers and that supports the other existing servers, as well as Tape back up systems to allow for automated backups.

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