Implementing a community-based health management information system in Bungoma district, Kenya.
Odhiambo-Otieno, George W.
MetadataShow full item record
The development of community-based health management information systems in developing countries is not well documented. This paper reports how a Community-based Health Management Information System (CHMIS) in Bungoma, Kenya, was started and used to generate information through sources at the community level. The CHMIS had several constraints and limitations like inadequacy of qualified and dedicated community volunteers to run the CHMIS, lack of skills to handle quantitative information, lack of incentives and supervisors for community health workers and inadequate financing of the information resource centres. Despite these, the article highlights a CHMIS model that embraces key requisites of PHC: equity, empowerment and effectiveness. Two important principles can be drawn from the Bungoma CHMIS. First, although DHS staff may assist communities in conceptualizing, designing, implementing and utilizing the CHMIS, the community must use the system to make its own decisions. Second, communities must see a benefit to themselves in operating a CHMIS. The basic premise to be adopted in the development of any CHMIS model is that it should be designed with a focus on improving the health status of the community.