The eMIS continues to be scaled up in new districts under the leadership of DGFP. The digital eMIS tools are changing the way rural family planning workers conduct their day to day jobs in the field. The field workers had been using paper registers for routine data entry. They also used paper forms for month-end reporting. The digital eRegisters, as replicas such paper registers and forms, provide a suitable alternative to conduct work differently. However, obliterating paper registers cannot be achieved overnight and total transition to digital environment could take time. In other words, though the digital tools are intended for replacing the paper based tools, that does not happen instantaneously. The paper registers build histories over a long period, administrative requirements may prolong use for some time. Besides, all eMIS apps at different levels of hierarchies need to be introduced to progress towards fully interconnected and integrated digital ecosystem.
The pilot implementation of eMIS began in 2 districts in 2015. The success of pilot led to scaling up in other districts. The first 2 districts were declared paperless in 2020. Four more districts were declared paperless on 11 February 2021 through a ceremony on 11 February. In addition to invited guests, the four districts officials and employees were connected over Internet with the main program.
Current Status of eMIS
At the end of February 2021, the number of districts under eMIS was 36 which means that more than half of all the districts of the country came under eMIS. The total number of users exceeded 10,000 in the DGFP. It is expected that all the 64 districts would come under eMIS at the end of current sector program or 2023.
The event began with a welcome speech delivered by Khan Md. Rezaul Karim, Additional Secretary & Director (MIS), DGFP. It was followed up by a presentation titled DGFP’s eMIS Initiative – Current Status and Way Forward by Abu Taher Md Sanaullah Nury, Deputy Director (MIS), DGFP. The presentation included status of data collection by the field level workers. The presenter also demonstrated how the tools had been helping the managers and decision-makers to monitor the field activities by connecting to the server live. After the presentation was over, DDFPs of Natore and Jhenaidaha shared their experiences of eMIS and how the tools had been benefiting the way they perform their responsibilities.
Speeches by Special Guests
Md. Humayun Kabir, Senior Strategic and Technical Advisor, Data for Impact gave a brief history of the eMIS and outlined steps required for ensuring sustainability of the eMIS.
Xerses Sidhwa, Director – Office of Population, Health, Nutrition and Education (OPHNE), USAID, Bangladesh in his speech highlighted the engagement of the USAID with the health sector and expressed satisfaction on the achievement of the DGFP in its digital journey.
Bandana Risal, Deputy Country Director, Save the Children in Bangladesh elaborated the contribution of the Save the Children in health system strengthening while effectively introducing digital system.
Mr. Md. Ali Noor, Secretary, Medical Education and Family Welfare Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was present as a Special Guest. He affirmed the commitment of the Ministry in the digitalization efforts.
Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP, Honorable State Minister, ICT Division expressed satisfaction on inclusion of Natore, his home district among the 4 paperless districts. He highlighted the benefit each citizen, especially a healthcare seeker can get through digital health if the medical records are made accessible from anywhere of the country and patients could be identified with unique health IDs.
Speech by Chief Guest
Mr. Zahid Maleque, MP, Honorable Minister, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in his speech called upon the employees to improve the quality of their service using digital tools. He also elaborated the actions being taken by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to tackle the corona pandemic. He emphasized that people should behave responsibly to reduce the spread of the disease.
The meeting concluded with the final speech from the chairperson Ms. Shahan Ara Banu, ndc, Director General (Grade 1), DGFP. She thanked the distinguished guests for their presence and expressed the commitment of the DGFP to take the digital progression at a higher level.