The year 2018 was the year of scale up for the eMIS as it rolled out to 9 districts and was set to expand to more areas in the coming year. The activities for expansion began with Natore, a district in the Rajshahi Division. To mark the beginning, an eMIS Inception Meeting was held on 23 January in Natore. It was followed by a Training of Trainers for 2 days. The inception meetings are organized at the local level before field level implementation. Md. Suleman Khan, Director (MIS), DGFP was present as a Special Guest. Mr. Moloy Kumar Roy, Divisional Director, DGFP, Rajshahi was is the chair. The district managers of DGHS and DGFP (Civil Surgeon and Deputy Director, Family Planning) together with the UFPOs or sub-district managers were present.
Formation of a Technical Committee (TC) on eMIS Implementation
The DGFP took over the leadership on the expansion of eMIS through the formation of a Technical Committee (TC) on eMIS Implementation on 20 February 2018. This was an important milestone for the eMIS. The TC is responsible for overseeing the implementation of eMIS. The 1st meeting of the TC was held on 17 April 2018. The chair of the committee, Director (MIS) presided. The TC needs to keep the DG informed about the status of scale up activities. A meeting held on 16 August reviewed the implementation of decisions taken in the 1st meeting. The DG chaired the meeting. He provided guidance on different aspects of implementation to concerned officials. 2nd Meeting of the TC on eMIS Implementation took place on 16 October 2018.
Training on Routine Health Information System (RHIS) for Master Trainer
A Training on Routine Health Information System (RHIS) for Master Trainers was organized by USAID supported RDM project of icddr,b from February 11 – 15, 2018 at BRAC CDM, Savar, Dhaka. 15 officials from DGHS/DGFP and 5 officials from Nepal participated in the training course. The eMIS resource persons contributed to the training program.
Implementation in 6 Districts
Following Natore, the eMIS tools were implemented in Jhenaidaha, Madaripur and Moulvibazar in April 2018 by MEASURE Evaluation/icddr,b. Initially community modules for FWAs and later supervisory modules for the FPIs were introduced. MaMoni HSS introduced eMIS tools in Noakhali, Lakshmipur and Jhalokathi in 2018. Thus the total number of districts using eMIS tools reached 9.
Director (MIS), DGHS visited Tangail
Dr. Ashish Kumar Shaha, Director (MIS), DGHS visited Delduar, Tangail to see the eMIS activities on 19 May 2018. Mr. Harun or Rashid, Deputy Director (MIS), DGHS accompanied him. They visited Satellite Clinics in a household setting. They observed how immunization activities were captured by eMIS tools. They also learned how the community health workers and their supervisors were benefited from the tools.
Seminar on Machine Learning in Health
A Seminar on Machine Learning in Health was held on 26 June 2018 at MIS Auditorium, DGHS. The objective of the seminar was to generate awareness among the developers/programmers and digital health implementers about the application of Machine Learning in Health. The session was conducted by Professor Dr. Javed Mostafa, Director, Carolina Health Informatics Program, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Adjunct Professor, Duke University. It was attended by more than 70 participants representing the public and the private sector.
Pilot for Paperless Implementation
The DGFP decided to go paperless in two upazilas on a pilot basis after discussion in the TC meeting. The eMIS team visited Mirzapur, Tangail on 4 September and Madhabpur, Habiganj on 18 September 2018 to assess the preparedness of the field staff. Opinions of the FWAs, FPIs and FWVs as well upazila and district managers were sought during discussions. The community and facility workers overwhelmingly expressed support for using eRegisters only, i.e., for discontinuing the use of paper registers. Later a formal clearance was given by the DGFP for going paperless in those two upazilas from 1 November 2018.
Participation in 5th Global Symposium on Health System Research (HSR 2018)
The eMIS partners participated in the 5th Global Symposium on Health System Research (HSR 2018) held at Liverpool, England from 8 to 12 October 2018. The eMIS organized a satellite session on 9 October 2018. The theme was: Using eHealth/mHealth Solutions by Community Health Workers in Bangladesh to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The eMIS set up a booth, which drew a large number of enthusiastic crowd. Three posters submitted by the eMIS team members were accepted and displayed during the Symposium.
Training of Trainers (ToT) on eMIS Tools
A Training of Trainers (ToT) on eMIS Tools was organized at BRAC CDM, Rajendrapur, Gazipur on 29 and 30 October 2018. Officials from headquarters and implementation districts participated in the ToT. This ToT was intended for developing a pool of master trainers from the DGFP. Skills gained from ToT could be utilized to impart training at the local level.
Demonstration for UNICEF Representatives
The eMIS tools were demonstrated to the UNICEF representatives on 15 November 2018. The overall eMIS architecture was demonstrated. However, emphasis was given on HA eRegister developed for Health Assistants under the DGHS. The HAs can keep track of immunization and other activities through the app interface. Such data are shared with DGFP workers at community level and integrated with union level facility data (UHFWC). Mrs. Maya Verdant, Chief of Health, UNICEF and other officials were present. Dr. Kanta Jamil, Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor, USAID was also present.
Probable use of eMIS in the urban areas
Field Service Delivery Program (FSDP) wing of DGFP held a meeting with the eMIS partners on 22 November 2018. They showed interest for rolling out eMIS tools in an urban setting. The eMIS targeted only rural community and facility workers of the public sector. However, the FSDP had been working in the urban slums of Sylhet Metropolitan area with an NGO, Shimantik. They follow DGFP model. They have employed community health workers who use FWA Register and facility registers. This was followed by further meetings. It was agreed that some modifications would be made in the eRegisters so that those could be used by NGO workers in the slum areas of Sylhet City Corporation.
Development in DHIS2
The DGFP decided to use DHIS2 platform for aggregate reporting and data visualization. Following decisions taken in the meeting of the TC, the eMIS extended its support to the development of DHIS2 platform for the DGFP. The eMIS committed to implement the solutions within the shortest possible time.
Clinical Content Review Workshop for eMIS Facility eRegisters
A Clinical Content Review Workshop for eMIS Facility eRegisters was held on 2nd and 3rd December 2018 at BRAC-CDM, Savar, Dhaka. The Objective was to review the clinical contents of eMIS facility registers. The Senor managers of the DGFP participated in the workshop. They provided valuable suggestions for improving the facility eRegisters.
Launching Program for Scale up of eMIS Tools to 11 Districts
A Launching Program for Scale up of eMIS Tools to 11 Districts was held in Teknaf, Cox’s Bazar on 7 November. All districts of Rangpur Division namely Rangpur, Gaibandha, Kurigram, Dinajpur, Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat, Thakurgaon and Panchagarh were included the scale up. Besides, Cox’s Bazar, Rajshahi and Cumilla were also included. In these districts, eMIS would be implemented in 2 upazilas each. The DG, DGFP was present as the Chief Guest in the program.
Installing eLearning Toolkit in the eMIS tablets
The Information, Education and Communication (IEM) unit of DGFP organized a meeting on 6 December 2018. The purpose was to explore the use of tablets provided through the eMIS to utilize for eLearning Toolkit developed by another USAID supported project Ujjiban. The toolkit would be installed as an app. The app would allow family planning workers to access the learning materials directly from the app, even when offline.
Inception Meeting and Orientation Program for eMIS Scale-up in 9 districts
An Inception Meeting and Orientation Program for eMIS Scale-up in 9 districts of Rangpur and Rajshahi divisions was held at RDRS Conference Room, Rangpur on 11 December 2018. The inception meeting consisted of presentation on eMIS and speeches, and the orientation meeting of demonstration of eMIS tools. The district and upazila managers showed great enthusiasm about the eMIS apps.