Free Health Workforce Information Software Designed to Help Transform Patient Care in Africa

September 27, 2012, Chapel Hill, NC—The African Palliative Care Association (APCA), which works to reduce unnecessary pain and suffering from life-limiting illnesses across Africa, has endorsed iHRIS, the free, open source platform of health workforce information tools and software developed by IntraHealth International.

Currently used or being implemented in 22 countries, and supporting more than 600,000 health worker records worldwide, iHRIS is designed to capture and maintain high-quality information for health workforce planning, management, and training. Its open source approach is intended to maximize local ownership, capacity-building, innovation, and partnership.

Commenting on the iHRIS software, APCA’s Executive Director, Dr Emmanuel Luyirika said, “As APCA is committed to see health systems across Africa strengthened to address the continent’s growing disease burden, we know that a key building block to health systems strengthening is human resource management. The development of this new software therefore introduces a revolutionary and transformational approach to strengthening the systems that are necessary to address patient needs by improving health administration on the continent.”

Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Kampala, Uganda, the African Palliative Care Association has four key aims: increasing knowledge and awareness of palliative care to improve the lives of African patients, strengthening health systems by driving palliative care policy and education integration throughout Africa, building a sound evidence base to show how palliative care changes lives, and ensuring the sustainability of palliative care across the continent.

“This pan-African endorsement of iHRIS is a testimonial to the significant role of civil society’s commitment to strengthening the health system,” said Malik Jaffer, deputy director for human resources for health and health systems strengthening at IntraHealth. “Tools like iHRIS can help to manage the health workforce better and can lead to improved access and availability of services including the provision of palliative care.”

iHRIS was developed with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the software is supported globally by CapacityPlus, USAID’s flagship health workforce strengthening project led by IntraHealth.  All iHRIS products are free to do­­wnload, adapt, and implement by interested users, including governments, nonprofits, and private health providers. Implementation of iHRIS has already saved countries more than $100 million in purchasing, licensing, and other costs associated with proprietary software.

IntraHealth International is a global health nonprofit that champions the critical role of health workers in health and development. For over 30 years, IntraHealth has empowered health workers to better serve communities in need, fostering local solutions to health care challenges by improving health worker performance, strengthening health systems, harnessing technology, and leveraging partnerships. The nonprofit’s work is supported and funded by the US Agency for International Development, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, private foundations, corporations and individuals.

Contact: David Nelson
IntraHealth International
+1 919-313-9139

Shelley Enarson
African Palliative Care Association