Technology has a great bearing in the way diseases are handled in the digital age. At the National Tuberculosis Leprosy and Lung Disease Program (NTLD-Program), effort has been lent in engaging a great deal of this technology towards the management of TB. The ability to break down concepts and understand how things work enables us to build and manage applications. It is essential to understand how backend data comes together to provide the necessary ingredients to enable decision-making. Further, accuracy, validity and integrity are key in as far as data is concerned and they all begin with a unified approach to data management. It is therefore in this regard that a five-day training for data management targeting County TB and Leprosy Coordinators (CTLCs) was organized in Thika from June 13, 2016.
The overall objective of this training was to decentralize data analysis skills and management of TB in the field. Through such decentralization, CTLCs would be empowered to make decisions based on data analysis and findings. During this training, a number of data management aspects including cleaning, mining, analyzing and reporting were covered whilst individual practice on the skills gained was emphasized. Specifically, CTLCs were trained on how to access the GeneXpert system to view consumption and sample data as a way of helping them play an oversight role at the GeneXpert sites. It will now be possible to do timely approvals on TIBU cash, thanks to refresher courses during the training. Further, CTLCs were also taken through how to clean TB, IPT and DR TB data sets. This will allow them to comfortably report on pediatric and nutrition indicators. The training also covered how to access the Lancet System both on Mobile and on the Web. This will allow CTLCs to access, on timely basis, results of samples sent to Lancet labs. It will also help them track progress of the samples sent if results are not available.
Pathologists Lancet Group of Laboratories (Or just Lancet as better known) is a leading pathology laboratory service home-grown in Africa providing vital diagnostic, monitoring and screening testing from routine to specialized and esoteric tests. Lancet specializes in Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and Genetic tests for Oncology and infectious Diseases, Anatomic Pathology (Histopathology/Cytopathology /Immunohistochemistry), Tuberculosis testing, Microbiology, Endocrinology, Clinical Chemistry, Coagulation assays, Haematology, Toxicology and Occupational Health tests.
Lastly, the training focused on presentation skills of these data for purposes of communication and review by different audiences.
As a result of this training, the CTLCs are expected to have clean county TB and leprosy data sets that are well informed and specific and with a better oversight of GeneXpert consumable logistics and routine lab tests for MDR-TB.
The Monitoring and Evaluation together with Policy and Planning sections of the NTLD-P who facilitated the training remain committed to support the CTLCs beyond this training because practice is key in perfecting the skills learnt given and to ensure that these are applied in the field. The training that was sponsored by the Global Fund came to a close on June 17.