By Adeola Badru
Supporting partners providing digital interventions for an improved healthcare service delivery across Oyo State have expressed satisfaction with the zeal and commitment with which healthcare workers and medical teams are deploying the interventions to aid more efficient delivery.
The partners after tours of facilities and a series of meetings with various stakeholders including government officials, healthcare workers, patients said the level of zeal, team spirit, and togetherness of purposes exhibited by the stakeholders would no doubt spur them to sustain and improve on the interventions in other healthcare service deliveries in the state.
The Chief Executive Officer, Intellectual Property Research Deployment (IPRD) Solutions New York, Dr. Keith Hanna, gave the commendation on Wednesday, after an interactive engagement with Commissioner for Health in Oyo State, Dr. Olabode Ladipo, top management staff of the ministry, and other stakeholders.
Other partners in the company of the IPRD boss include representatives of the Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation, General Manager, IPRD South Africa, Lovkesh Arora; Program Management, IPRD, Bob Gupta; Senior Strategy Officer, Digital Health and AI, Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation (BMGF), and CK Cheruvettolil . The tour was facilitated by Hacey Health Initiative.
The team had in the last two days, visited selected primary healthcare facilities (PHC), interacted with relevant stakeholders in a bid to assess and see firsthand how digital interventions deployed into the state in the last two years are put to use especially in a bid to improve maternal health outcomes in Oyo State.
Dr. Hanna said the team was in the state to see first-hand the series of paperwork and reports it has been getting on the impact of the digital intervention in the state in the last two years, appealing to the people that more interventions would be deployed to the state in no long time.
He said: “I have a team here with me from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and we are excited to be in Oyo State.”
“We are bringing digital interventions into Oyo state and there are so many paper activities that we have been reading and listening to over the last two years across all levels of interventions especially the Primary Healthcare in the state and we can see that tremendous amount of paperwork information does not flow in realtime and so we are providing the baseline capabilities that will enable that, to allow the Commissioner of Health and all other health workers in the state to get the information at their fingertips, so they know the number of pregnant mothers, number of immunization among others required in real-time.”
“On the level of assessment, first, what we saw was that all the team are very committed, they are looking for this type of technology and so we are very happy about that. People are not pushing back on the technology they wanted and so for everyone here in Oyo state, please be patient with us, we are working hard to deliver more for improved service delivery.”
“We are satisfied as we see so much commitment from all the team members, we see that they are very receptive to all the digital interventions, but we are always learning and there are problems to be overcome and we are working to resolve those and provide solutions to those, so we are seeing the amazing team that Oyo state has, from the Commissioner of Health and all the officials to the community health workers.”
Speaking on what the findings would spur them to do more, the IPRD Solution boss said: “Yes, we are looking for reduced infant mortality, for example, increased immunization, perhaps more buses in clinics and so those are metrics we are beginning to set up to gauge ourselves against.”
“I will like to ask the people of the state to be patient, we are excited, the Oyo state government is excited and health workers are excited with all the digital interventions that we are doing, it will take time but we are making a lot of progress, we are seeing the healthcare workers that the people of Oyo State work with all the time, and we are seeing that they are excited about everything we are doing, we have great partners including on board to help develop a lot of software, we have the Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation providing leadership and funds to make this happen, so we are very excited about the impact we can make with digital interventions in Oyo state.”
Assuring the sustainability of the digital interventions, Dr. Hanna said: “We always have a concern concerning sustainability and we have been addressing that from the very start.”
“So, the software that is been made available is open software so that local integrators can put together software solutions as needs come up in the future. The government always has different programs and local integrators can piece together components to make new solutions, it will not need a team from the US or anywhere outside to come and do that, so sustainability is a very high priority for us.”
In his brief remark, Oyo Health Commissioner, Dr. Ladipo said the digital interventions have helped to improve record taking and make the same readily available to policymakers to make informed decisions.
“The visits are about collaborations with Oyo state in terms of digitalization of health platforms. Quite a lot of things are being done in the state and records are now taking faster mode this time around.”
“There is a need for us to look inwards to see how well we can utilize our platforms, our mobile phones to ensure that information from the periphery is gotten at the center as quickly as possible and that perhaps we may be able to make us have the opportunity to make informed decisions as quick as possible about the healthcare situations within Oyo State.”
“The use of the digital application in Antenatal Care (ANC) is something that is just starting and we are hoping that with the successes that we have, we will be able to expand across the state and to other interventions lines within the state,” he noted.