By Deepak Rajanna, VP – ICTPH
Crucial to the ICTPH Health Systems approach comprising preventive screening, curative, and community and clinic-based intervention components, is a clear demographic understanding of the target geography. Preceding the launch of an RMHC there is the need for a structured enrolment process, for the identification and tracking of the population served using the electronic health record, enabling our community outreach activities with accurate location information of our target populations, and going further, building a strong landscape-epidemiological database.
The solution for enrolment consisted of recruiting temporary workers to perform an enrolment exercise, that included distributing a household ID card, to every household in the identified catchment and collecting information such as the name, age and gender of each family members, and the lat-long co-ordinates of the household using a smart phone running Android OS and an Open Source data-collection tool called ODK Collect.
The entire enrolment exercise was completed in Andipatti under 15 days with fairly good quality, capturing information on about 3000 households consisting of nearly 13000 individuals. This exerience proved to be repeatable when we replicated this activity at another pilot, Alakkudi, in less than 10 days, for nearly half the cost (Rs. 10 per household enrolled in Alakudi, as opposed to Rs.20 at Andipatti). The data collected from the exercise was fed into the HMIS before the RMHC operations began and the usage of ID cards immediately proved an improvement over the earlier method of identification (based on name search). The systematic enrolment process also served as a good marketing exercise since it reached every household in the catchment.
The enrolment process is documented here in greater detail.