In October 2016, Jembi CEO, Prof Chris Seebregts, delivered a presentation and participated in a technical workshop on “Better Data for Women and Children: Strengthening CRVS across the Continuum of Care”, at the headquarters of UNICEF in New York City. The trip was supported by the WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research and a sub-grant to HISP-SA from CDC and PEPFAR. Presentations from the meeting are available at the following url: http://bit.ly/2gWuaRt.
The presentation was titled “MomConnect. Pregnancy Tracking and Other RMNCH Opportunities for CRVS” and was co-authored by Peter Barron (University of Witwatersrand) and Vincent Shaw (HISP-SA). In the presentation, the authors described the technical development of MomConnect (http://www.health.gov.za/index.php/mom-connect) as well as ongoing work expanding to related health services and potential extension to digital systems supporting Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS).
Seebregts explained: “Momconnect has been a significant success in South Africa and is being adopted in other African countries, such as Uganda. The digital platform has been part of this success and can be extended to support CRVS processes such as birth and death registration and coding. Advantages could include increasing the extent and lowering the age of birth registration as well as capturing and coding cause of death events. In addition to direct benefits to citizens and patients, this would also contribute to better data for women and children.”
The three-day workshop also included representatives from major donor agencies such as the World Bank, GAVI and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as international projects, such as the Data for Health partnership. During the technical working sessions, participants developed and prioritised proposals for initiatives to strengthen data for women and children.
Seebregts also said: “Jembi’s experiences, with PLAN International, in the development of the CRVS Digitisation Guidebook (www.crvs-dgb.org), coordinated by the Africa Programme for Accelerated Improvement of CRVS (APAI-CRVS), UNECA and the African Development Bank was also valuable in this context. The Guidebook contains methodologies to link MNCH with CRVS to strengthen digital support for integration between these two domains.”