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Participants of the executive course training in Data Analytics and GIS in health for informed decision making. [Courtesy]

The limited use of data and Geographic Information System (GIS) in the provision of health care has been identified as one of the bottlenecks that continue to hinder programme management, policy development and decision making in the health sector.

To address this phenomenon, the Health Informatics Governance and Data Analytics (HIGDA) Project, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health is currently conducting training of healthcare leaders and managers from across the country on data analytics and GIS.

The two-weeks training that commenced, June 3, 2019, is geared towards enhancing the skills of leaders and managers in the health sector on the basic aspects of data analytics, data analysis, GIS data visualization, and generation of GIS Products. Over 20 participants are undergoing training at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).

The HIGDA Project Coordinator, Dr Reuben Thuo said, at the end of the training, the project expects participants to appreciate the role of data analysis and modelling and also apply GIS and visual analytics in health decision making and policy development in effective and efficient health service delivery.

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The training programme will also see participants interact with the newly established Digital Health Applied Research Centre (DHARC) at JKUAT that will allow hands-on approach for strengthening systems capacity in analytics.

“At the end of the training, you will be able to see firsthand how GIS and Geospatial analytics products are developed and how they positively support policy and decision making in the health sector,” stated, Dr Thuo.

Dr Beatrice Kariuki of HIGDA, while acknowledging that significant progress has been made in improving the Health Information System (HIS), decried the dismal uptake and utilization of data and use of GIS in data visualization at both national and county levels.

“We hope we can be able to move from descriptive analysis of data to prescriptive analysis to quantify the effect of future decisions in the health sector in order to advise on possible outcomes before decisions are made,” said Dr Kariuki.

The participants will also learn how to use STATA and TABLEAU in data analysis and healthcare leaders and managers, how to write executive reports.

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HIGDA project is jointly implemented by Palladium Group, JKUAT, and PATH International and seeks to improve the health sector’s organizational and management capacity in health informatics, monitoring and evaluation at national and county levels.

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HIGDA JKUAT Dr Reuben Thuo Palladium Group
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