On 24th to 26th October 2017, we held a beginner to advanced training on District Health Information System Version 2 (DHIS2) where we trained individuals from United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Health Initiatives for Safety and Stability in Africa (HIFASS), and Adamawa State Primary Health Care Agency (ADSPHCDA). DHIS2 is an open software used by organizations, the Federal Ministry of Health and health facilities to enter individual and aggregate data, analyse and visualize data, and generate reports. During the training, participants learnt data entry, analysis, setup and configuration, event and tracker capture, and numerous other modules. We had practical sessions for every module and gave them assignments to ensure that participants gained not just DHIS2 knowledge but skills as well.
Our training sessions were incredibly interactive, and participants shared their experiences and challenges with data management, and monitoring and evaluation.
Hence, they did not just learn from us, they learnt from each other.
One important focus of discussion was interoperability. Participants stressed the need for a centralized Health Information System (HIS) to enhance data sharing and interoperability. They are right! Multiple organizations run numerous health information systems. Therefore, data is collected duplicitously, and this data remains unshared. When data is collected and unshared, it is not maximally used. Collected data can be used for much more that its intended objective. Data sharing and interoperability allows data speak different stories, answer numerous questions, and create a clearer picture.
Our training facilitated the discussion of the need for a more integrated health information system. It helped our participants ask the burning questions, the necessary ones and share possible answers to those questions.
To ensure that we met the expectations of each participant, we called them to find out their training needs and tailored the training to suit their needs. It is no wonder the participants rated the training an average of 4.4 out of 5. To evaluate the impact of the training on knowledge of DHIS2, the participants filled pre-training and post-training questionnaires. The results were impressive. Prior to the training, the participants scored an average of 32% in DHIS2 knowledge. However, after the intensive training, they scored an average of 89%. These results show that the primary objective of the training was fully met.
When asked what they liked about the training, one participant said “Everything, including the presentation approach, training materials, conducive environment, supportive staff and the food.” Other participants loved the interactions and the practical sessions held during the training, our punctuality and timely training sessions.
Our participants also mentioned how they would apply the knowledge gained. We love that they stated they would train low cadre health workers, their colleagues and improve the DHIS2 performance of their states.
We are proud of our participants because we know our training will make a significant difference.
This training was more than just a DHIS2 training. It not only significantly improved their DHIS2 knowledge and skills, it brought to light important data management challenges and ways they can be addressed.
What distinguishes our training from the norm is that we have an e-health attitude. We are genuinely concerned about creating an impact using e-health technologies and we know DHIS2 is one innovative and cost-effective solution. We also understand that when we build the capacity of Nigerians to use DHIS2 to solve their data management challenges, we are creating change and making an impact. Therefore, we give it our best.
We are always excited to provide consultations and train individuals and organizations who want to improve their DHIS2 skills.
To conclude, we will leave you with this wonderful statement by one of our pleased participants “When you have an e-health enthusiast as a head, there’s always a difference.”
We totally agree!