Health ministry initiative wins Africa e-health award
The ministry of Health mTrac initiative was listed among the table-top 10 e-health projects of 2013 and granted full recognition by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The project was recognised for real time monitoring of diseases, tracking of essential medicines, and improving health service delivery. mTrac, a rapid SMS-based health tool, was launched in December 2011, to improve the Health Management Information System (HMIS) reporting on disease surveillance and medicine tracking systems, in all 5,000 health facilities in Uganda.
With the tool, health workers submit their routine weekly HMIS reports via a set of coded SMS messages that include diseases and stocks of key medicines. District health officers receive automated SMS alerts if pre-specified thresholds are surpassed, and data is immediately accessible through the national DHIS2 system. This is complemented by an anonymous health service delivery complaints hotline, through which people can report on the quality of services they are receiving in their communities.
“mTrac addresses a crucial need of the ministry ensuring that accurate, real-time information from every health facility is available to national and local government stakeholders for action,” Health minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, said.
“When this information is acted upon in a timely manner, we see notable improvements in health sector performance.”
mTrac is already operational in more than three-quarters of the country’s health facilities, with national coverage expected by the end of this financial year. The awards will be presented in Tunisia in September this year.