Often we talk about a good healthcare system in African countries, about eradicating child mortality and maternal death. We also talk about improving prevention of various chronic diseases but we all forget something: How can we do all of this without Data? How can we solve a problem you can’t quantify? Therefore the importance of a reliable and timely data
We all want beautiful big houses, but before buying the house you have to make sure the ground where the house is, is not shifting or fragile, it has to be solid enough. It is the same thing with health, to be able to make good health policy decisions you have to look at the health data to have a good and clear idea of the problem, then your decision will be based on the outcome of it, otherwise you are just going to solve a problem blindly based on false information and so the problem will remain and often it will even increase.
Now with technology, collecting reliable data became easier, with the help of technology many private ventures, stopped relying on the government and took matters into their own hands to make a change, a great example of such pioneers is PESINET, now known as DJANTOLI in Mali.
DJANTOLI does not only provide health insurance, prevention and education but Djantoli’s agents do also home visits and in addition of taking care of people, they also collect simple health data such as weight, height, fever, stools, etc…..
All data collected is stored on a java applet in the agent’s mobile phones and transferred to the doctor via mobile technologies. This helps them to also find specific health solutions and know which health problems are still remaining so they can give the right intervention to the right problems. This also helps to reduce child mortality.
More and more organizations collecting data with the help of technology are starting to exist and this will help to change the health outcome of Africa and will also help policymakers to analyse better their decisions. YOU TOO should be involved….If you are young, find out about an organization who is collecting health data near you and volunteer.
Maria Pedro Miala