Is knowledge integration the important thing to combat trachoma in Ethiopia? | Blogs

What did Sightsavers do to support the Ethiopian Ministry of Health?

Ethiopia is leading the way in establishing it an integrated NTD database (Access acquired by the Ministry). We have helped the Ministry of Health integrate NTD data into the national health information system and bring critical NTD data together into a single comprehensive source accessible to stakeholders at national, regional and even global levels.

First, as is the case in many countries, NTD records were stored in different locations so that in one place there was no complete picture of the country’s NTD-related health and interventions. Records from work like Mass drugs (MDA) campaigns treating millions of people for trachoma each year and impact assessments assessing where trachoma remains a public health issue after MDA has been carried out have been conducted across platforms. This made it extremely complex for program managers to provide key stakeholders such as senior officials with a comprehensive view of the NTD situation as they had to merge data from multiple data sources. Additionally, data from each activity was not combined with previous data to identify trends over time. Now that all programmatic NTD data is available in a single national database for several years, it is easier for key stakeholders to monitor and interpret them correctly.

Second, survey data was often saved in editable formats such as Excel or Word with the risk of data being incorrectly edited and often multiple versions being created. In the worst case scenario, there was a risk that it could be deleted and lost. Program managers can now access accurate NTD survey data in the database. Hence, there is only one standardized version of the data that they can rely on.

We have worked to make this database a useful and attractive resource for everyone involved, and have also entered other data important to NTDs, including mwater, WHO ASPEN, Tropical dates and NTDeliver. The integration of these data sets makes this valuable Water, Hygiene and Hygiene (WASH)Treatment and survey prognosis, prevalence surveys, and drug procurement data can all be viewed together. We hope that equipping this system with these powerful tools will encourage everyone involved to use it and enter their data into the database in the future.

In this way, the single platform enables the ministry and other stakeholders to safely see the big picture with different data sets in order to determine relatively easily and quickly what types of resources are needed and where they are primarily needed.

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