Global IT solutions provider, Hewlett Packard (HP) in collaboration with Kenya’s Ministry of Health and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) today launched one in a series of five health data centers at Afya House with the aim of speeding information to save lives.
The health data centers at Afya House is a project developed improve the quality and efficiency of disease surveillance to enhance protection and prevention by making processes such as HIV testing fast and easy.
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation Mr. Mark Bor, said
“This data centre is unprecedented in the history of the Health Ministry and represents the biggest investment in IT to date. As technology improves, so does the quality of life therefore the ministry is willing to embrace technological advancements that will help improve the health sector.”
Together with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and the Ministry of Pubic Health, HP’s Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) project looks at improving testing and treatment for more than 120,000 infants exposed to HIV in Kenya each year.
Through the EID project, HP will set up five data centers connected to four existing laboratories. Each data center will include the computing and storage power to connect more than 1,500 health facilities and 20,000 healthcare workers.
The equipment makes HIV testing quick and simple. Each blood sample gets a bar code, and once it’s tested, the results are recorded in a database created by software developers from Kenya’s Strathmore University. Instead of waiting for results to arrive by courier, doctors receive results via a text message sent to SMS/GSM-enabled HP printers located throughout rural areas. Results can arrive in just a few days, which means infants can receive lifesaving treatment in good time.
Managing Director HP East Africa Mr. Ken Mbwaya said
“The data center will facilitate provision of life-saving care to infants accelerating access to life-saving technologies and helping the government build the capacity required for high-quality care and treatment programs.”
The data centre is to host manual processes including the DHIS (District Health Information System) which allows the government to evaluate the performance of the public health system on issues such as vaccination coverage and mortality under five among other millennium developmental goals as they relate to health.
Others include HRIS (Human Resources Information System), EMRs (Electronic Medical Records), the Health Sector Commodity Management among others.
The data centre will also be a Disaster Recovery installation for other key installations within the Ministries of Health as well as other departments/ministries of government. At the moment, it houses key routing infrastructure for the country’s integrated finance management information systems (IFMIS) which is run by the Ministry of Finance.
HP will upgrade the data center with Three Generation Seven Servers, Core Switches, allowing connectivity to all types of networks, internal and external, HP ProCurve Switches to improve the Local Area Network at Afya House, Fibre Channel Storage which allows for storage separate from the servers and that supports the other existing servers, as well as Tape back up systems to allow for automated backups.