Palliative Care Association Endorses iHRIS to Help Transform Patient Care in Africa

The African Palliative Care Association (APCA), which works to reduce unnecessary pain and suffering from life-limiting illnesses across Africa, has endorsed iHRIS, the free, open source platform of health workforce information tools and software supported by CapacityPlus. APCA announced the endorsement during its fourth triennial conference held September 17-20 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

health worker in KenyaCurrently used or being implemented in 22 countries, and supporting more than 600,000 health worker records worldwide, iHRIS is designed to capture and maintain high-quality information for health workforce planning, management, and training. Its open source approach is intended to maximize local ownership, capacity-building, innovation, and partnership.

Commenting on the iHRIS software, APCA Executive Director, Dr. Emmanuel Luyirika said, “As APCA is committed to see health systems across Africa strengthened to address the continent’s growing disease burden, we know that a key building block to health systems strengthening is human resource management. The development of this new software therefore introduces a revolutionary and transformational approach to strengthening the systems that are necessary to address patient needs by improving health administration on the continent.”

Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Kampala, Uganda, the African Palliative Care Association has four key aims: increasing knowledge and awareness of palliative care to improve the lives of African patients, strengthening health systems by driving palliative care policy and education integration throughout Africa, building a sound evidence base to show how palliative care changes lives, and ensuring the sustainability of palliative care across the continent.

“This pan-African endorsement of iHRIS is a testimonial to the significant role of civil society’s commitment to strengthening the health system,” notes CapacityPlus’s Malik Jaffer, who delivered a plenary speech at the APCA conference. “Tools like iHRIS can help to manage the health workforce better and can lead to improved access and availability of services including the provision of palliative care.”

All iHRIS products are free to download, adapt, and implement by interested users, including governments, nonprofits, and private health providers. Implementation of iHRIS has already saved countries an estimated $100 million in purchasing, licensing, and other costs associated with proprietary software.

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Photo by Trevor Snapp/courtesy of IntraHealth International (health worker in Kenya)