The Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria (IHVN) is an institute that carries out research, testing, treatment, and training in a concerted effort to speed up the discovery of diagnostics and therapeutics for a wide variety of chronic and deadly viral and immune disorders – most notably HIV, the cause of AIDS in Nigeria.
To capture and process accurate data for information about these diseases in Nigeria, the Institute adopts the use of District Health Information System 2 (DHIS2).
What is District Health Information System 2 (DHIS2)?
DHIS2 is a free, open-source software platform for collecting, analyzing, visualizing and sharing data. DHIS2 lets you manage and analyze aggregate and individual-level data with a flexible data model. It includes advanced features for dynamic data visualization, like maps, charts, pivot tables and dashboards, as well as social analytics features to help you bring meaning to your data. Today, DHIS2 is the world’s largest Health Management Information System (HMIS) in use by ministries of health in over 73 low and middle-income countries. 2.4 billion people (30% of the world’s population) live in countries where DHIS2 is used. With the inclusion of NGO-based programs, DHIS2 is in use in more than 100 countries.
However, before DHIS2 and other advanced analytic tools were invented, capture and analysis of large amounts of data were done manually. Information from thousands of people was recorded on paper and then transferred on spreadsheets one after the other. Not only is this process cumbersome, time-consuming and unnecessarily repetitive, it is also near impossible to transfer such data without significant errors along the way – errors that could lead to lethal consequences in the long run.
Manual data collection and analysis is a very slow process and sorting the data after its collection is difficult. Also, the inaccuracies due to unavoidable human errors threaten the integrity of such data and ultimately affect the overall conclusion(s) that could be reached from studying the data. With the introduction of DHIS2 and other data collection tools and software, these problems have now become a thing of the past.
Deploying a DHIS2 instance requires a server to host the software, and before this can be done certain requirements must be met because managing a DHIS2 server involves more than setting up a powerful web server. These requirements include :
- Human resources with skills in relevant technologies such as web servers and database systems.
- Reliable backup of your system including safe storage at a remote server
- Use of SSL (HTTPS/ encryption) to keep private information like passwords secure.
- Monitoring of server resources and application performance
- Stable and high-speed Internet connectivity
- Stable power supply, including a backup power solution
- Secure server environment to avoid unauthorized access, theft and fire
- Powerful hardware with potential for scaling together with increased system usage.
To simplify this process, the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) uses Dhistance to host its DHIS2 instance.
What is Dhistance?
Dhistance is the world’s first fully automated DHIS2 hosting and server management system. Its fully automated functionality implies that; without the technical know-how, you can easily set up your data management server in 5 minutes. This feature and many others are what make Dhistance the perfect DHIS2 hosting platform for agencies that deal with a large number of users such as the Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria. The Institute had to move its DHIS2 instance from other platforms to Dhistance this year because of its affordability, compared to other hosting platforms and because of the large number of facilities, which it collects data from. Ever since then, Dhistance has continued to provide many benefits, some of which include:
- Affordable pricing plans
- Excellent system backend management
- Automated database and application backup
- 24/7 Friendly-customer support and technical assistance
- Fast and efficient dashboards
- Customized domain names
“For several years, my team has implemented DHIS2 for several clients for health management, with data collected from over 2,000 facilities. Prompt decisions made with the aid of the DHIS2 dashboard deployed on Dhistance have been very useful in strengthening routine immunization, preventing HIV spread and reducing the maternal mortality rate in Nigeria. From a developer’s point of view, the smooth learning curve and ease of implementation stand DHIS2 out from other Health Management Information System (HMIS) tools. We will surely continue to recommend Dhistance to more health partners that make use of DHIS2” – Ojosu Olumayowa (DHIS2 consultant for IHVN)
Due to its reliability and scalability, several private and public organizations are now hosting their DHIS2 instance on Dhistance. You should as well.
To get started, sign up on www.dhistance.com and get a 7-day free trial. Also, enjoy half the price on your first subscription.