Kenyan expert roots for big data to transform healthcare services


Kenya needs to invest in collating data so as to propel improved and equitable delivery of healthcare services, a research expert said on Saturday.

Mokeira Nyagaka, a research analyst with International Budget Partnership Kenya (IBPK), said that recent study on inequalities in the distribution of health workers manifested dearth of data in the health sector, a phenomenon that would frustrate efforts to improve access to health services.

“One of the main inequalities that was inherited before 2010 (year new Kenyan Constitution was promulgated) is inequality in access to health services and health workers,” she told Xinhua in an interview.

“If devolution is going to be about improved distribution of better health services, then we need to have data to know where the problems are and track changes over time.”

Understanding the inequalities would be useful in engaging the policy makers and citizens towards addressing the disparities and thus ensure there is equity in access to the health services, Nyagaka said.

Under the Kenyan Constitution, regional and national governments hinge on interdependence in the management of the health docket.

Although counties are charged with offering health services, their operations are realigned with national health policies whose implementation is overseen by the ministry of health.

Mokeira said the health ministry has an obligation to collect information from counties while the regional governments have a constitutional role to collect data and make it public.

She recommended establishment of central repository where accurate data from all the health facilities in the 47 counties would be deposited for ease of access. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/

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