News / Africa

Zimbabwe Gets Computers to Track Epidemics, Diseases

A doctor examines a child suffering from typhoid at a local infectious disease hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe, November15, 2011. A doctor examines a child suffering from typhoid at a local infectious disease hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe, November15, 2011.
x
A doctor examines a child suffering from typhoid at a local infectious disease hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe, November15, 2011.
A doctor examines a child suffering from typhoid at a local infectious disease hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe, November15, 2011.
The United States government has started a program to strengthen Zimbabwe’s health information management system.  The program is meant to strengthen surveillance and reporting of disease outbreaks and epidemics.

Those are health personnel - who include doctors and nurses from Zimbabwe’s eastern region of Manicaland - clapping after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) handed over laptop computers and accessories.  The computers will be used to store data about patients they treat in the region.

The donation is part of a $2.1 million annual grant Zimbabwe gets from the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, to strengthen its health information management system.

Paula Morgan the deputy director of the CDC in Zimbabwe explains the importance of Zimbabwe’s health information management system:

“Although our contribution although health wise [is] across the board particularly disease detection and surveillance, its important to us to capture all of them, because we work with PEPFAR programs, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, we do concentrate on the HIV/AIDS epidemic,” said Morgan.

The HIV/AIDS epidemic is one of the biggest problems Zimbabwe’s cash-strapped government is grappling with.  Although the United Nations says new HIV infection rates have dropped by 50 percent in Zimbabwe, the country still has 1.2 million people living with the virus.

As a result of bankruptcy,  President Robert Mugabe’s government in Zimbabwe is failing to meet the Abuja Declarations which recommends that African governments allocate 15 percent of their budgets towards health.

So it is no surprise Ponesai Nyika, a director in the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health, welcomed the CDC’s donation of computers.

“This donation is really important, has come at a time when we really need it because what has been happening is that at the local clinic they [staffers] have been using hard copies, which is a hard paper system," said Nyika. "They record their patients in registers and tally sheets; where they tally against the patient’s age, name and treatment that has been given.”

All that is now done with computers thanks to the CDC, added Nyika.  Through funding from the PEPFAR program, a U.S. non-profit, Research Triangle International (RTI), is training Zimbabwe health workers for two weeks to ensure accurate data collection and analysis.

Henry Chidawanyika, who heads Research Triangle International in Zimbabwe, sums up the current health information system standards in this African country.

“[It] is very weak in terms of viability to deliver, mostly because we do not have enough personnel on the ground, we do not [have] enough equipment, issues of infrastructure, power, connectivity," said Chidawanyika. "Health information is a cornerstone of a delivery of a health system.  If you do not know where you are, then you do not know where to go. ”

For a country like Zimbabwe, which is afflicted by many diseases and epidemics, a sound health information system enables it to monitor statistics of say HIV infected pregnant women and provide critical information on patients accessing antiretroviral therapy and TB treatment.  Experts say it also means early diagnosis of diseases.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: rgw46 from: usa
December 21, 2012 6:32 PM
How about aid within US...or is the debt no concern???


by: Freddy
December 21, 2012 12:33 PM
Yet the military has sufficient funds for arms - tells another story. However what is hard to accept, is the silence by the UN over human rights issues in Zimbabwe including the land invasions, the 2008 Election violence, not to mention the loss of many lives.
Anyone listening out there mmm

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Paradei
X
Anush Avetisyan
November 26, 2014 10:57 PM
Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid