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Improving imperfect data from health management information systems in Africa using space-time geostatistics

Record type: Article

Background Reliable and timely information on disease-specific treatment burdens within a health system is critical for the planning and monitoring of service provision. Health management information systems (HMIS) exist to address this need at national scales across Africa but are failing to deliver adequate data because of widespread underreporting by health facilities. Faced with this inadequacy, vital public health decisions often rely on crudely adjusted regional and national estimates of treatment burdens. Methods and Findings This study has taken the example of presumed malaria in outpatients within the largely incomplete Kenyan HMIS database and has defined a geostatistical modelling framework that can predict values for all data that are missing through space and time. The resulting complete set can then be used to define treatment burdens for presumed malaria at any level of spatial and temporal aggregation. Validation of the model has shown that these burdens are quantified to an acceptable level of accuracy at the district, provincial, and national scale. Conclusions The modelling framework presented here provides, to our knowledge for the first time, reliable information from imperfect HMIS data to support evidence-based decision-making at national and sub-national levels.

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Citation

Gething, P.W, Noor, A.M, Gikandi, P.W, Ogara, E, Hay, S.I, Nixon, M.S, Snow, R.W and Atkinson, P.M (2006) Improving imperfect data from health management information systems in Africa using space-time geostatistics PLoS Medicine, 3, (6) (doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030271).

More information

Published date: June 2006
Organisations: Southampton Wireless Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 262858
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/262858
ISSN: 1549-1277
PURE UUID: d4989648-fc61-42ae-9bb1-4d5d48f3fe72

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Date deposited: 21 Jul 2006
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 08:47

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Contributors

Author: P.W Gething
Author: A.M Noor
Author: P.W Gikandi
Author: E Ogara
Author: S.I Hay
Author: M.S Nixon
Author: R.W Snow
Author: P.M Atkinson

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