Shifo and Plan International Uganda have started to work together to implement MyChild Card in Tororo district to improve child health services and data quality for improved decision making.
The two started to work in Tororo district in November 2015 after conducting stakeholder and gap analyses in the fields of maternal and child health with a focus on vaccination and prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS services. As a result of this collaboration, Plan International Uganda and Shifo joined hands to implement MyChild Card, starting with Tororo district, with the aim to improve health outcomes and the quality of data.
Plan International Uganda has been working in Uganda since 1992 and began its work in Tororo district in 1995. Tororo district is situated in the Eastern region of Uganda, 230km east of Kampala and at the border with Kenya. The population of Tororo is about 530,000.
In the framework of Every Child Counts - Tororo Programme Unit, Shifo and the Tororo local government are working to implement MyChild Card and MyChild Reporting system in more than 50 health facilities which provide preventive child health services including vaccination. The implementation will cover all health facilities in the district.
Cissy Kaamu, Country Health Specialist, Plan International Uganda says that evidence shows a big discrepancy in data, with data quality being very poor. "Accurate data is of high importance for us to be able to allocate resources based on the actual gaps rather than perceived ones. And more importantly, to enable us to follow the results of allocation and see where and how the resources are making a difference in the lives of children and their health", notes Kaamu.
Nargis Rahimi from Shifo says her organisation and Plan International Uganda share common values and passion to improve child health. “We believe in the power of connections to advance children’s rights. Together we can advance children’s rights further and faster, creating more opportunities for all children to grow healthy".
In July, the Shifo technical team set up scanning stations in four health sub-districts in Tororo to prepare the groundwork for the next phase of capacity building.
Further, Shifo and Plan International Uganda together with the Ministry of Health of Uganda are conducting implementation research to evaluate how much time is spent by health workers on immunisation processes. In July 2016 the team pre-tested research tools for baseline data gathering.
Malaika Mikaelsson from Shifo says that MyChild Card has the potential to make a difference in the lives of children and their families. “When you see a family come in as early as 8:00am and wait until after 1:00pm to complete the immunisation process for their child, it's hard to take in. But now we have a chance to reduce the administration burden which is given priority over quality of care for patients. It is something to which adequate attention is not paid, despite a catastrophic shortage of medical workforce in every single health unit we have been to", says Mikaelsson.
Soon you can follow the real time impact indicators on shifo.org from Tororo as well as other regions where MyChild Card is being implemented.
Wish us all the best!