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Use ICT to support health systems - Malawi Govt

By Gregory Gondwe, Blantyre, Malawi

The government of Malawi says there is need to focus on interactions between ICT and health systems in the deployment, integration and use of existing ICT innovations in order to transform and support the functions of the health system.

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Charles Mwansambo, made these remarks when he officially opened a day-long Health Information Technology Innovations Fair in Lilongwe this week.

And about the fair Mwansambo said it: "provided an opportunity for the stakeholders to display various technologies that have potential to improve the health care service delivery."

The ministry head said in collaboration with several non-governmental organisations operating in the health sector, the Ministry of Health has been implementing ICT in the delivery of health services.

Lucius Mwalwanda, who is a computer management specialist for the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) that bankrolled the fair, acknowledged that ICT innovations have made operations in the health system easier.

"Perhaps most important, they have upgraded the quality of patient care, with quality-assured interventions and standardised treatment protocols," said Mwalwanda."These operations have unquestionably streamlined operations, created efficiency gains, saved money and saved lives."

Mwalwanda said with ICT they are capable of tracking and following patients across facilities run and managed by Baobab Health Trust, National Health Data Repository System, Demographic Data Exchange and Unique Patient Identification System. 

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