At the Source of Health Care, Health Workers

This post was originally published on VITAL, the blog of IntraHealth International.

Malik JafferMalik Jaffer is the deputy director of human resources for health and health systems strengthening for the IntraHealth International-led CapacityPlus project. I recently interviewed him about health worker heroes and what it’ll take to make more of them.

You’ve met a lot of amazing health workers over the past 20 years. Any who really inspired you?
Absolutely. For example, there’s a team of health workers in Soweto, South Africa, that work in a hospice. When I visited, the facility was full of men and women and a lot of children. I remember one baby that was suffering from AIDS. She looked about three months old and weighed only 10 or 12 pounds. She was tiny. But I came to find out she was a year old. Read more »

Two Projects Working Together to Strengthen the Health Workforce in Uganda

How can a global project and a country-specific project work together to strengthen the health workforce and increase access to quality care? What about in Uganda, where there are only 14 doctors, nurses, and midwives for every 10,000 people?

The CapacityPlus global project and the Uganda Capacity Program are both funded by USAID and led by IntraHealth International. CapacityPlus has worked in over 20 countries to address the health workforce shortage, and offers tools that can be adapted for any country. The Uganda Capacity Program builds the capacity of local Ugandan institutions—like ministries, professional health councils, and universities—to plan for, develop, and strengthen the management of health workers. Read more »

Information Is Never More Powerful than When It’s Shared

This post was originally published on the IntraHealth International blog.

CapacityPlus develops the core iHRIS software and releases updates.

Data, data, data—they’re the fuel that powers any robust national health care system. They can propel a country toward the Shangri-La of universal health coverage—or they can hold one back. IntraHealth’s Dykki Settle answers five questions about how the right information in the right hands could pave the way to health care for all. Read more »

Kenya and Uganda Model Mentorship for Health Workforce Information Systems

Can a mentoring relationship between nations expedite implementation of the iHRIS open source software for tracking and managing health workers?

With that in mind, Robert Nguni of Capacity Kenya recently traveled to neighboring Uganda for a week-long visit to learn about strategies successfully put into practice by the Uganda Capacity Program. Read more »

Strengthening Health Workforce Data for Improved Health Service Delivery

To improve health services, Uganda is focusing on the people that provide quality care. In our new video, Ugandan health workers, managers, and leaders show how the country’s efforts are paying off—and how service delivery has improved. The following story highlights one aspect of this work.

“My office is like a web. All information about human resources is needed in my office,” explains Ojulun Joreme. He’s the principal personnel officer for Dokolo District in Uganda. “Left and right I have to keep giving out information about each individual.” Read more »

Nigeria Minister of Health Cites Importance of Health Workforce Issues

Recently at the 2nd National HRH conference in Nigeria, with the theme “Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria: Role of Human Resources for Health,” the Federal Minister of Health, Professor C.O. Onyebuchi Chukwu, celebrated CapacityPlus for our good works in the area of health systems strengthening. Read more »

Uganda Stakeholders Plan a Way Forward to Expand and Sustain Health Workforce Information System

Uganda's Human Resources for Health Information System (HRHIS) started in 2006, as the registration and licensure registry in the Uganda Nursing and Midwifery Council. The council entered its historical data to track health worker licensure and registration information. Since then, the system has expanded to support the management of employed health workers and is now being used in the remaining three professional councils, the Ministry of Health, all four national health institutions, all 13 regional referral hospitals, and 74 out of the 112 districts—impressive progress in a highly decentralized health system.

The software the system is built on, iHRIS Qualify and iHRIS Manage, was developed and refined based on experiences and needs in Uganda. Seven years later, the iHRIS software is now used by 15 countries to support over half a million health worker records. Users of the system experience its benefits such as faster and easier access to vital information for more informed decision-making, and continue to envision ways to increase its functionality and improve its ease of use. As with any evolving technology, Uganda’s HRHIS challenges (e.g., connectivity in more remote sites, interoperability of various Ministry of Health and other government information systems, availability of sufficient dedicated human and financial resources, and resistance to change by users of the system) remain to be addressed.  Read more »

What’s the Issue? Not Enough Health Workers in Susan’s Maternity Unit

When Susan Alio describes what she likes best about her job, a smile spreads across her face and her eyes light up. “When mothers come,” she says softly and swiftly, “and they have a normal birth, they go with their babies, healthy, without any complication, that one gives me joy.” She’s perfectly poised in her crisp white uniform and cap. 

Susan obviously loves her job as a midwife at Naguru Hospital in Kampala, Uganda, but it’s not easy. She feels the effects of the global shortage of health workers firsthand, on a daily basis. When she’s asked about her challenges, her big smile fades and her words slow down. “My biggest challenge is usually not enough staffs on the station, because you end up being stretched, and then when you’re stretched you’re not able to deliver at your best,” she explains. Read more »

Nigeria’s Health Workforce: Aso!

Amanda PuckettDriving around Abuja, Nigeria you cannot miss the Aso Rock, a large 400-meter monolith overlooking the city. The name “Aso” means victorious in the native language of the Asokoro people. In September I traveled to Abuja to provide management and operations support for our newly opened CapacityPlus office. I couldn’t help but think that the most prominent natural feature in the city, named after success, was a good sign for our human resources for health (HRH) activities in the country. 

The office supports CapacityPlus’s growing health systems strengthening portfolio in Nigeria, with a focus on PEPFAR-funded preservice education and in-service training, scaling up human resources information systems at the national and state level, and supporting the Federal Ministry of Health on key HRH leadership, partnership, and management activities.  Read more »

iHRIS Helps Cure Backaches in Nigeria

I’ve been writing about the open source iHRIS software for years, explaining how it can help with health workforce management and planning, and praising the advantages of open source for country ownership and sustainability. A recent e-mail conversation about iHRIS in Nigeria reminded me of some of the important benefits of the software, and shed light on a new one. Read more »

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