Population Registration System
Population Level System
Four Implementing Partners of USAID, namely MEASURE Evaluation, icddr,b, MaMoni HSS and SIAPS are piloting Routine Health Information System (RHIS) Initiatives in Tangail and Habiganj – two districts of Bangladesh. This Initiatives aim to automate the work of rural health workers using different platform and media; The ICT solutions make it possible to collect routine administrative data on almost real time that would include population level coverage and history of services provided to the individual.
The purpose of the App
PRS is used to perform the census of the population. It is created as a mobile application and fits into the category of mHealth applications. PRS is considered as the foundation of RHIS and service delivery modules would be linked with it.
PRS is based on Geographical Reconnaissance (GR) that was done by the DGHS annually till 2010. The data were collected on paper and became difficult to process at a point of time because of large volumes.
Platform and programs used
The app is designed for the Android platform. Java programming language has been used for development. The program requires many web services that have been developed using JSON. Internally, SQlite is used to store data on the device. The data are synced daily in with a PostgreSQL database. The App interface is in Bangla.
Who uses the app and where?
Two departments under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh provide healthcare at the rural level. Those are Director General of Health Services (DGHS) and Directorate General of Family planning (DGFP). At the community level, the Health Assistant (HA) of DGHS and Family Welfare Assistant (FWA) of DGFP provide domiciliary services. This app is used by the FWAs and HAs for registering population of their catchment area. The app is loaded in a Tablet PC that has been allocated to the FWAs or HAs. The FWAs/HAs are responsible for specific area in a ward/union (lowest unit in the local government). Based on their responsibilities, the geographical and administrative data are uploaded in the Tablet. The user has access only to data belonging to the area s/he is responsible for.
How the app is used?
PRS collects data relating to household and individual. The FWAs/HAs visit households to collect such data. A number of screens/forms are used for data entry and validations are also built in. Background meta data (like GPS data) could also be captured. PRS data is collected to identify the person who would be provided service. On average a rural household with 4-5 members could be completed by about 10-12 minutes.
Three day training with one day earmarked for mock data entry is imparted to the users. User Manual is also provided during training. The users also have access to and support from field staff of icddr,b and Mamoni HSS. The rural level health workers quickly acquired the knowledge to handle the Tablets deftly. Overall
Though it is a mobile application, PRS has been designed to work offline due to problems of connectivity. The data is synchronized daily. 3G internet connection with 2GB quota had been given per month to each FWA/HA for uploading or downloading data. The PRS data resides in a central database and maintained in separate servers at icddr,b and MaMoni HSS (at the pilot stage).
The Value Of This App
PRS would be crucial for identifying the service provided to the individuals as well as to create service history of an individual in course of time. Such data can be of immense use to the decision makers to plan coverage and also to take decisions about provisions of services. CRVS could also benefit from PRS when implemented.
PRS was developed in February 2015 and introduced first in Madhabpur upazila of Habiganj and Basail upazila Tangail in March and April respectively. Registration of these upazila were completed by November (about 700,000) population.
The MIS of DGHS and DGFP were strongly supportive of this initiative. The district and upazila level officials of the government supervised the pilot implementation and came up to help in case of any difficulties