ICT for Health > Empowering Health Workers to Save Lives

Mozambique Health Information Network

The Mozambique Health Information Network (MHIN) strengthens the Ministry of Health of Mozambique (Ministério de Saúde, MISAU) capacity to collect, transmit and report Health Management Information System (HMIS) data.

MHIN provides a two-way access to information utilizing the existing cellular telephone network and low-cost, simple to use, and energy efficient handheld computers (also known as Personal Digital Assistant or PDA) for supporting health information dissemination, data collection and reporting, and email exchange. Data transfer from/to PDAs is facilitated using wireless access points (called African Access Points or AAP, developed by SATELLIFE) and a linux server located in Maputo at MISAU.

Nurse with patients       Doctor using PDA

District Health Offices receive data from various levels of health centers using the MHIN that include immunization registers and reports, disease surveillance data, and reports related to other health problems as required by MISAU department of Health Information System. The DHO also use the network to receive data for monitoring drug usage and stocks, which is used for ordering medicines.

Geographic Focus

A total of 66 health facilities in Chockwe, Manjacaze, Morrumbene, Namacurra and Nicoadala districts are currently using MHIN for capturing and transmitting HMIS data, and for email exchange. MHIN allows district health offices to receive high quality HMIS data from rural health facilities in time. Data received from health facilities is seamlessly synchonized to MISAU database at the districts. The Districts automatically generate monthly reports and forward electronicv copy of the report to Provincial Health Directorate without delay. SATELLIFE and MISAU worked with Eduardo Mondlane University to conduct cost-benefit analysis of MHIN by comparing the data collection and report generation costs associated with MHIN and paper based approaches.

The project also started delivering health content to rural health workers pertaining to diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of major health problems such as malaria and TB. Health content is "broadcast" from the server at MISAU via the cellular network to African Access Points located at health facilities. Health workers download relevant health content to their PDAs and use it as a reference for treating and/or providing better care to their patients.

MHIN is a partnership between SATELLIFE, MISAU and the Ministry of Science and Technology (Ministério de Ciência e Tecnologia, MCT). The project began at the end of 2006 through funding from the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada (IDRC) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). MHIN will expand its services to additional two districts in 2008-2009.

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This project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

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International Development Research Centre