Using HMIS data to improve eye health services in Tanzania

Mr. Dismas, the optometrist from the Regional Referral Hospital testing a patient

The Health Management Information System

A Health Management Information System (HMIS) is a data collection system specifically designed to support planning, management, and decision-making in health facilities. The MAONO project, supported by ‘Seeing is Believing’, gave a computer to the district eye coordinators to support the HMIS for eye health in Singida region. Some of them are not familiar with the use of computers, but they are all improving and are trying their best to report the district eye health data to Sightsavers every month.

What data is the HMIS collecting?

The HMIS (supported by the MAONO project) is collecting data including: number of adult cataract surgeries done, number of people treated for ocular morbidity, number of people screened, refracted, prescribed, number of spectacles supplied. The data is disaggregated by gender and age showing number of men, women, boys and girls.

How is HMIS data used to improve services?

The data from the HMIS is used to further improve eye health services by indicating the performance; managing the workload, informing the planning and budgeting by district eye coordinators and the Council Health Management Team (CHMT). At the national level, through the Ministry of Health, the data is used by policy makers and in preparing guidelines regarding the National Eye Care Strategic Plan. Each lower level facility enters their data through reporting registers, tally and summary form which is then entered into the HMIS so that the data can be used for planning, budgeting and decision making.

How does the project support the use of the HMIS in the Ministry of Health?

The MAONO project supports the Ministry of Health to use the data from the HMIS, by ensuring that trained personnel are involved in the planning and budgeting of the Comprehensive Council Health Plan. The data is also used to address challenges in funding and sustainability (such as the Community Health Fund). Sightsavers also supports the data entry into the District Health Information System, which is reported every month by district eye coordinators from all registered health facilities across the council. The MAONO project has increased demand for eye health services delivery by training village health workers to deliver effective eye services in health facilities and through the evidence from the HMIS.

Prepared by:

Yvonne Sawe,

SiB Project Assistant Sightsavers,

ysawe@sightsavers.org