Bauchi partners USAID/IHP, introduces digital-health interventions for effective service delivery


Dr Ibrahim Kabo, IHP State Technical Director, Bauchi 

By Akanji Alowolodu, Bauchi

Bauchi State Government through the State Primary Health Care Development Agency (BASPHCDA) is collaborating with USAID funded Integrated Health Project (IHP) to introduce Digital-health interventions in an effort to improve health care delivery services and make them more accessible to people.
According to IHP State Technical Director, Dr Ibrahim Kabo, “basically, Bauchi State Government through the State Primary Health Care Development Agency is doing a lot in the area of quality health provision in collaboration with different development partners. In this regard, the BASPHCDA is rolling out Digital-health interventions with the support of USAID funded IHP.”
He further said that the scheme involves three components which are, “audio-job Enhancement through which health providers can call toll free to access different topics in the area of family planning, child health, malaria and other issues. Within this we are almost there, so far we have received 1200 calls from 900 providers so that they can provide effective service to the clients that are evidence base.”
He explained further that, “Another area is what we call accountability hotline platform where clients, those that are accessing services will be able to call to provide their concerns on traumatic areas that will improve by providing analysis on issues that have to do with the health care providers, commodities and supply, barriers to accessing quality health services.”
The third area according to him is the mobile referral channel for in which he explained that the mobile referral would provide avenues for a timely referral from the community level to the facilities as well as primary facility to secondary and tertiary facility to provide a platform for 2 way communication for feedback amongst the facilities. 
He said that, “It is in the pilot stage in three LGAs across the state is aimed at ensuring that people get immediate medical attention at the shortest possible time which he said is the best practice the world over now” .
The IHP State Technical Director said that, “there may arise the need to quickly refer a patient to the nearest facility, particularly pregnant woman, lactating mother or any other sick person for urgent medical attention in order to save a life. Using the mobile referral will make it easier and faster unlike what is obtainable now where papers are used for referral and get missing along the way.”
Ibrahim Kabo though agreed that the scheme may encounter technical difficulties considering that it has to use network connections allayed such fears because according to him, “the only area such is required is the referral process which needs good cellular network but the two orders are just for voice calls and toll-free.”
He however assured that after the pilot scheme in the selected three LGAs, the scheme will be introduced in all the facilities across the state to make health care delivery services more easily accessible by the people who use any of the mobile networks. 
Executive Chairman of BASPHCDA, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed confirmed that the pilot scheme of the project is on and said that his Agency has keyed into in order to ensure that health care delivery services were made easily available to the public in line with the efforts of the state government.
Rilwanu Mohammed added that the Agency is carefully following the implementation of the scheme by IHP as funded by USAID assuring that with commitment the project will turn into a successful partnership though it is a new innovation in the country.

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