Namibia’s Pharmaceutical Information Dashboard: A Key Resource for the UNAIDS Situation Room

SIAPS Namibia Senior Technical Advisor for MIS, Samson Mwinga presents the MOHSS Pharmaceutical Information Dashboard at an HIV Situation Room workshop held in Johannesburg, South Africa, August 23–28, 2017. Photo credit: Bayobuya Phulu for SIAPS Namibia

The UNAIDS Situation Room is an innovative web-based platform that enables managers at all levels of the health system in Namibia to have access to HIV-related data in an easy and interactive manner. This tool uses automated, frequently updated data and data visualisation tools that are mobile and accessible at any time to help managers track progress made and identify gaps in HIV programming.

The Ministry of Health and Social Services’ (MOHSS) Pharmaceutical Management Information System, also known as the Dashboard, has been praised as a key source of antiretroviral treatment data for the Situation Room. Developed and implemented by the MOHSS and SIAPS, the Dashboard aggregates data from several pharmaceutical management electronic tools and displays it in tables and visuals for easy interpretation and decision making by managers of the MOHSS.

Two SIAPS Namibia technical advisors gave a presentation of the Dashboard and its features during a workshop held in South Africa from August 23 to 28, 2017. Stakeholders travelled from Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe (representing organizations, including UNAIDS and the MOHSS) to participate.

Namibia’s UNAIDS Strategic Information Advisor, Mr. Mohamed Turay, indicated that participants, organisers, and resource persons were impressed and satisfied with the use of this platform, stating that, “The Dashboard was well structured, interactive, up-to-date with adequate functionality to be linked to the Situation Room.”

Mr. Turay also indicated that the Dashboard will be a crucial resource for the Situation Room’s implementation because it already tracks data on commodities and logistics. The MOHSS Dashboard provides a nationwide view of the stock status of pharmaceuticals, the exact number of ART patients, their treatment regimens, and 22 essential pharmaceutical information indicators used to measure service delivery in pharmaceutical services. The MOHSS tracks these indicators with early warning indictors for HIV drug resistance on a monthly, quarterly, and biannual basis.

In addition to the Dashboard, the Electronic Dispensing Tool, the Electronic Patient Management System, and the HIV testing database are also new tools that could be linked to the HIV Situation Room, since it aggregates data from different platforms.

The SIAPS technical advisors and the MOHSS staff developed an action plan to guide implementation of the HIV Situation Room in Namibia. In addition, MOHSS’ Research, Monitoring & Evaluation (RM&E) technical staff identified indicators in the Dashboard that will be linked to the Situation Room and configured an application program interface to enable seamless connectivity between the Dashboard and the Situation Room.

Compiled by Greatjoy Mazibuko, Harriet Kagoya, Bayobuya Phulu, and Wezi Tjaronda