The inclusion of private sector data in routine data collection is essential to improving decision making and monitoring the progress of countries toward global health goals. While some have made great strides in capturing private sector data in their health information systems, better integrating the data so it can be used by country-level stakeholders remains a challenge. Getting the data into the system is not sufficient. It is important to build the capacity of governments to interpret and use the data.
In Tanzania, accredited drug dispensing outlets (ADDOs) are small, privately-owned drug shops that are an important source of commodities and care for Tanzanians who live in rural and peri-urban areas. In May 2019, ADDOs from four regions began reporting service and commodity data into Tanzania’s DHIS2.
To support the capacity of government stakeholders to interpret and use these data, SHOPS Plus recently supported the training of 37 regional and district-level health management information systems officers in Tanzania. dLab, a local organization focused on improving data literacy and usage in the country, conducted the training. The one-week training course focused on data visualization and decision making.
The course covered:
- data cleaning
- data merging
- using Excel to better understand representations of data
- exploratory data analysis
- using Tableau for data visualization
During the course, participants discussed how private sector data on child health commodities could be used. Each one received support for six weeks upon completion of the training course.