By Kinya Kaunjuga
Since 1977 Naikarra Health Center has used paper to record the treatment of patients from 30 villages in a 200 km radius near the Kenya – Tanzania border.
“I asked a friend of mine how I could get rid of paper health records. I explained that I wanted very simple clear records. I wanted to capture data that would help me understand my patients – how they’ve been and how they are feeling.
“As a clinician, you need a patient’s entire story; not just the patient as they are today, but the patient holistically.
“Paper records would delay my staff and I from instantly reviewing a patient’s history as soon as they presented themselves in the clinic and during our treatment rounds in the villages. They were getting lost and taking up a lot of storage space,” explains Leonard.
“My friend told me about BandaGo and I watched the demo on Banda’s website.
“Since BandaGo is online, it did not require us to purchase any software, a server or network cables. This made it affordable and accessible to us. BandaGo also works for us because we run the facility using an off-grid solar power system and go out into the field with just our laptops and phones.”
“During a Banda implementer’s visit to Naikarra for additional training, the entire district experienced a major power outage.
“However, because we use solar power to charge phones, the implementer would move with my phone and his alternatively from the examination room, nursing desk, laboratory and finally the pharmacy
“In two days, the Banda implementer managed to train the whole Naikarra Medical team – lab, reception, accountant, cashier, nurses, nutritionist, triage, and pharmacy. He would move with the laptop and the phones and train him or her!” remarks Leonard.
Q: If you had one message to the world what would it be?
A: Digital records in healthcare are essential. We can now reach so many people in distant rural villages. They are efficient and sustainable and we should embrace technology.
Q.What else have you accomplished by using BandaGo?
A: It’s now our core patient records system. We have stabilized our pharmacy inventory and what to dispense. We get a financial trend of the week, complete month-end summaries, and cash collections have improved. We now review revenues and records each morning at our team meetings.
Q: Are wild animals the only ones you scare away with solar and spears?
A: Yes, there are no bandits here; the majority of the communities around us are Christians. Naikarra started as a church and extended into Naikarra Health Center. This is now a place known as ‘where churches are more than schools.’ Here people love God and God loves us so much.
Through improving BandaGo, technology is actively helping frontline medical clinics continue to provide good healthcare for those living in slums, informal settlements and distant rural villages like Naikarra.
In case you missed the first two stories in the Naikarra series, you can find them on our website here.
Thank you for being a part of this journey with us, we couldn’t do it without you!