At the Click of a Button: Jane Ruth Aceng Shares Good News

Jane Ruth AcengJane Ruth Aceng sits in a black leather chair in her office at the Uganda Ministry of Health. Even though she’s soft-spoken, you can hear the authority in her voice. And, as a nearby camera flash clicks and lights the room, you can sense she’s an important person. “I’m the director general of health services,” she states. “That means I’m the technical head for health in the country.”

Jane describes how planning for the health workforce used to be a nightmare. Uganda previously used a paper-based system to store information on the country’s health workers. Now, using a national health workforce information system called HRHIS, she shares good news, “We have a system where by just a click of a button, you know who is available in the system, you know how many health workers we have in the country, you know their qualifications, you know where they are, and you know what they are doing.”

The HRHIS is built on the iHRIS Suite, software designed to help health leaders track, manage, and plan their health workforce. CapacityPlus supports the core development of the software. The Uganda Capacity Program, another project led by IntraHealth International, customized the software for the Ministry, the four professional health councils, and district health offices.

CapacityPlus’s Dykki Settle leads the development of iHRIS and interviewed Jane during a recent trip to Uganda to support the official launch of the HRHIS. The video is part of a new CapacityPlus series called “I’m a Health Worker”, which highlights how we place health workers at the center of our efforts. As the series embraces a broad view of health workers, Dykki made an effort to interview health workers from nurses to ministry officials, like Jane.

“It is really exciting to know you can have all your human resources and know where they are at any one moment,” she says. Then, as her serious expression breaks into a smile, she adds, “That’s just great.”

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