National Quality Improvement Conference was held in Kampala on

06 December, 2018 | |259 views

06 December 2018 – Kampala - In an effort to continuously improve quality of service delivery and health outcomes across the country, Ministry of Health and partners held the 5th annual Quality Improvement conference under the theme “Strengthening Health System Building Blocks Using Quality Improvement Approaches to Maximize Health Outcomes.”

The conference was primarily intended to share experiences, challenges, opportunities and tested solutions in implementation of QI in health care in Uganda and other countries; Provide feedback to stakeholders; Provide an opportunity for peer learning on Quality Improvement among health workers and other stakeholders; and Mobilise support, resources and attention from leaders and financing actors towards quality of care improvement.

In her opening remarks, Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng noted that according to the National Serviced Delivery Survey, only 46% of households rated the overall quality of services at Government Health Facilities as good while 91% complained of lack of attention and respect by the health workers.

“These are worrying statistics. There is need for a quality health system, one that is valued and trusted by our people” Hon Aceng said.

According to the Uganda Demographic Household Survey (UDHS) 2016, Uganda has made significant progress on key performance indicators such as; 78% of households possess at least mosquito nets, increase from 57% to 73% of mothers delivering at health facilities while Maternal Mortality Ratio decreased from 438 to 336/100,000 live births to mention but a few.

Hon. Aceng added that “while outcomes have improved, the changing health needs, public expectations and ambitious new health goals continue to raise the bar for our health system.”

She emphasized the need for quality health services to realize better health outcomes. “Quality should not be the purview of the elite, but should be the DNA of our health system.”

Keynote speaker, Dr. Rashad Massoud, on Identifying and harnessing health financing to improve health care, underscored the importance of effective utilization of resources. “Resources have to be effectively utilized in order to yield health care outcomes in any setting” he said.

Dr. Massoud noted that “good care happens where the patient receives it. A good quality healthcare system has a role in nurturing the kind of care a patient receives.”

A high quality health system should be informed by four values, i.e. it is for the people, should be equitable, resilient and efficient.

The rate of admissions among children under five increased to 22.4 per 1,000 admissions compared to 20.2 per 1,000. The HSDP target was 16.9 per 1,000.

Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) retention declined to 76% in 2017/18 from 82% in 2016/17 while TB treatment success rate declined to 77% in 2017/18 from 80% in 2016/17 which is still far below the HSDP target of 86% for the year.

Inpatient malaria deaths decreased significantly by 52% to 9.38 per 100,000 from 20 per 100,000 in 2016/17 but still below the HSDP target of 5 per 100,000 as envisioned in the Malaria Reduction Plan. Similarly, the number of malaria cases per 1,000 persons decreased by 39.5% to 293 per 1,000 from 433 per 1,000 in 2016/17. 72% (7,942,257/11,062,306) patients diagnosed with malaria were laboratory confirmed compared to 69% (10,922,161/15,857,997) in 2016/17.

As the Ministry of Health is in its third year of implementation of the Health Sector Development Plan (HSDP), this year’s theme focuses on the need to strengthen health system blocks in order to achieve Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Goal 3.

The Under Secretary of Ministry of Health, Mr. Ronald Ssegawa underscored the need for good leadership. “Health workers can change their attitude with good leadership. They need a package of initiatives, not just salary enhancement in order to provide good services” he said.

Mr. Ssegawa who was representing the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Health, Dr. Diana Atwine at the closing of the conference emphasized that “quality of leadership and training is critical to employment.”

The 5th Annual Quality Improvement Conference brought together international experts and health service providers from all levels of the health system. These will discuss best practices, lessons learned, and way forward in strengthening and improving the health system governance structures, supply chains, information systems, financing, human resources, infrastructure, service delivery, and patient safety.

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