April 27, 2016 -
In an effort to improve healthcare access and data collection, HIV/AIDS patients in Uganda will now be identified using fingerprints during a five-year Centers for Disease Control (CDC) funded project.
According to a report by The Monitor, the Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Support (METS) project will help identify how many people in the country are living with HIV/AIDS and how many people are taking antiretroviral drugs in hopes of generating accurate and nationally accessible information on the healthcare crisis.
CDC country director, Dr Steven Wiersma, commented that “while the country is moving toward achieving the 90-90-90 target of having 90 per cent of the people tested for HIV, 90 per cent of those found positive put on treatment, there has been lack of national data on HIV and its use.”
The dean of Makerere University School of Public Health and the METS principal investigator, Professor William Bazeyo, said the project will be implemented in 48 districts across Uganda where the CDC operates and that focus will be put on improving leadership at district and hospital level, help in monitoring and evaluation and support data driven decision making, among others. “The project will be implemented in four areas of monitoring and evaluation, district led programming, case based surveillance and health management information systems. It will be implemented by the School of Public health.”
The Minister of Health, Dr Elioda Tumwesigye, said that identity verification based on fingerprint technology will improve access to services, aid in tracking HIV patients, drugs and can generate information that can be used for decision making. “With this technology, a patient will be identified using their fingerprint and the information can be shared with different clinics to avoid duplicity. We will able to know the exact number of people on treatment and how many more need it.”