Zimbabwe’s NAC To Introduce Electronic Patient Tracking System

Posted on January 28, 2014 | Category: Politics; Business, Sport

 

http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v7/wn/newsworld.php?id=1010543 -

HARARE, (Bernama) — The National Aids Council (NAC) plans to introduce
an electronic system to track patients as it moves to reduce defaulting on
Antiretroviral therapy, Zimbabwe’s news agency, New Ziana, reported.

NAC
monitoring and evaluation director Amon Mpofu said defaulting on treatment was
derailing national efforts to reduce the HIV burden.

Mpofu said patients
usually stopped taking medication when they moved from one place to another and
the existing manual tracking system had loopholes.

“NAC is working with
the Ministry of Health to develop an electronic patient tracking system because
we discovered that when you register with a hospital but you move to another
town there is need for a record so that people can access treatment from any
hospital without difficulty.

“This will help us reduce defaulters,” he
said.

Mpofu said this before the Senate thematic committee on Health and
Child Welfare.

He said the new electronic system would ensure that ART
clients did not default treatment even after moving to another
town.

“Because some people were moving from one point to another but for
re-supplies you have to go back to your site. So we are already engaging data
capture clerks in all hospitals who are entering all the names of those on ART
in computers so that we have this electronic system and support it to improve
the quality of service,” he said.

Mpofu said research carried out by NAC
showed that people living with HIV stopped taking medication when they felt
better.

“Also when people take long time on treatment they end up just
forgetting.

“So we need to preach the message that even when you feel
better you need to continue taking the drugs,” he said.

Mpofu said
communities should also ensure that people living with HIV stuck to treatment as
defaulting causes resistance which is costly to treat.

“Those people who
are defaulting on treatment are sitting on a time bomb. Because if you stop
treatment when you feel you are well then you develop drug resistant strain and
that strain is very costly because second line and third line treatment is very
costly.

“So this is why we are preaching the message of adhering to
treatment,” he said.

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