Here are some key lessons to take away from the experience of rolling out DHIS2 in a sustainable way.
The systems must be flexible and adaptable to meet emerging needs. By learning from previous iterations it has been possible to extend the system to other regions.
To save on resources and prevent running the risk of duplicating efforts, before deploying DHIS2, streamline all resources and HIS activities of all stakeholders and use the MoHSW as a lead organization.
Promote system and data ownership within the MoHSW. Encourage data sharing amongst the health programs and stakeholders to help develop a sense of trust in the routine HIS and the resources and capacity that can support it.
A reliable system is maintained by well trained and knowledgeable people. Capacity building needs to be a continuous strategy. Capacity is needed for system development, maintenance, and information use to make sure the system is up and running every day, and information generated is used for health management, planning and decision making.
The major health programs are HIV/AIDS, Maternal Child Health (MCH), malaria and TB. Getting such big programs as these involved in a HMIS at an early stage is a means to spark the interest of other programs and associated stakeholders.
Lots of time and effort was spent integrating the vertical programs into the HIS/DHIS2 platform and gradually rolling out the HIS. Today we’ve established a large community of stakeholders who share a common interest in building a sustainable HIS/DHIS2 platform for future generations to use and build upon.