Baghdad, Iraq – As digital health rapidly gains prominence, both standard and pioneering Information and Communications Technology (ICT), the Iraqi Ministry of Health (MoH) is getting ready to lead this big change.
With a vision to redefine the landscape of health services, the MoH, backed by UNICEF Iraq, is introducing an array of digital health instruments. These tools are aimed to improve service quality, coverage, and planning, and epitomize the fusion of technology and healthcare. One of the most groundbreaking initiatives in this venture is the digitalization of birth registration. This initiative aimed to be integrated with immunization programs across all primary health centers, ensuring that every child’s health status remains under vigilant surveillance.
Heading the efforts to fortify the immunization infrastructure of the country, UNICEF has extended its expertise to the MoH’s Directorate of Planning and Directorate of Public Health. Central to this collaboration is a tailored IT training and capacity-building program focusing on Microsoft ASP .Net Core. This initiative aims to empower the MoH IT team with cutting-edge programming expertise, setting the stage for developing the Digital Birth Registration System.
Designed to bridge diverse aspects of digital health service transformation, the Microsoft ASP .Net Core curriculum is spread across four detailed 15-day workshops. These sessions, pivotal to the genesis of the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) System for Iraq, guarantee that the MoH IT team will be armed with unparalleled skills and the indispensable technical scaffolding to architect and roll out the system seamlessly.
In anticipation of this significant workshop, the ISEET had orchestrated a detailed planning, business analysis, and system design workshop. This initial workshop was crucial to understanding important business needs and getting everyone on the same page before starting the software development process.
Recently, ISEET had a workshop at Erbil Int. hotel from August 13 to August 31, 2023. It was called “CRVS System Programming and Coding Workshop.” The goal was to take the ideas from the second workshop and turn them into a working system.
During this event, the team wrote the software’s code, making sure to follow all the best coding practices. The team from the MoH looked at the developed CRVS System and gave their thoughts. Everyone on the team talked about how the system should work and which parts to include or leave out. It was important to make sure that the final system would be just right for Iraq’s MoH.
They used a way of working called the “Agile Methodology” to develop the CRVS system. This method lets teams work together smoothly, make changes easily, and always keep the user’s needs in mind.
The trainer leading the workshop divided the workers into three groups. This helped everyone work together better and made sure that each group could focus on what they do best. They learned by doing, as the leader gave them real tasks to complete. After finishing their tasks, they would show them to the leader for checking. Once everything was acceptable, it would be added to the main system.
A special part of the workshop was when the ISEET team went to the Kurdistan Region Data Center. There, they talked about the technical parts of the CRVS system, like the hardware and software requirements to host the system. This visit made sure that when the system is ready, it has the best place to run. This workshop made big steps in making the CRVS system for Iraq, and everyone is excited to see it in action.
During the workshop, an important and detailed discussion recently took place bringing together experts and key figures in the health sector. This gathering saw representatives from various departments such as Public Health, Immunization, and Family Medicine. The main topic on the table was a new computer system aimed at bettering health services in Iraq. The group dove deep into conversations about how to enhance this system, ensuring it’s both effective and user-friendly aspects. One key focus was on gathering information about families and health centers. By doing so, they aim to get a clear picture of common illnesses and their spread among families. This data is essential because it helps health professionals know which diseases are common and how to best prevent and treat them.
After this in-depth discussion, the ISEET team disclosed their future plans. They announced the next event on their calendar: the 4th workshop titled: CRVS System Testing and Finalization. Scheduled for November 2023 and set to run for three weeks in Baghdad, this workshop promises to be an exciting step forward.
Here’s what they plan to do:
- Training on PowerBI: The MoH team will get special training on a tool called Microsoft PowerBI. This tool will help them create reports and dashboards for the CRVS system.
- System Development: The team will wrap up the creation phase and launch the first version of the system for everyone to see.
- System Checks: Team will do many tests on the CRVS system to make sure it works just right and is ready for the pilot phase.
- Design Updates: Based on what users need and like, they’ll give the system a fresh and easy-to-use look.
- User Testing: Real end-users will try the system. They’ll share what they think, and the team will make changes based on their feedback.
- Training: Before it’s launched everywhere, end-users will learn how to use the new system so they’re ready when it goes live.
- Going Live: Finally, the CRVS system will be set up on the MoH’s data center. This means people in both Baghdad and the Kurdistan region can start using it.
This workshop and the steps that follow show the commitment and hard work of dedicated professionals. They’re working tirelessly to make health services in Iraq even better. This is a giant leap towards a healthier and well-informed Iraq!