Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 (PMA2020), an innovative tech solution is making it easy for African countries to access important data on family planning and reproductive health every six months.
The mobile technology which is implemented in eight countries in Sub-Saharan Africa; Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Niger and Uganda, provides information useful for reporting, planning, operational decisions and advocacy at the community, country and global levels.
The project is currently funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“PMA2020 is making this data available every six months, which could change the game by enabling policymakers to make real-time decisions,” said Selamawit Desta, program officer of PMA2020 at Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health located at the US-based Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, during the meeting in Kenya on 27 June.
“We are hopeful that we can attract investments that will allow the data collection platforms to continue to the year 2020 and beyond,” Desta added.
According to Peter Gichangi, director of science and research at International Centre for Reproductive Health Kenya, many resident enumerators use mobile phones to collect data at in households and health facilities, and transfer the data to a central server.
“The data is then validated, aggregated and prepared into tables and graphs, making results more quickly available to stakeholders as compared to a paper-and-pencil survey,” Gichangi says.
Following a statement made available to Scidev.net, governments and all partners in reproductive health need to provide information and access to voluntary family planning to all people of reproductive age.
“These will enable both women and men to make informed decisions about their reproductive health and all individuals to protect themselves from infections,” Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director and under-secretary-general of the United Nations says.
Kigen Bartilol, head of Reproductive and Maternal Health Unit of Kenya’s Ministry of Health, says that his outfit is closely working with the PMA2020 and will integrate the data into national monitoring