When you bring your child to a health facility for consultation, a new electronic tool to improve the quality of children healthcare services is now available in Somali Red Crescent (SRCS) clinics in Radar, Gubadley and Afgoi. This new program, called “ALMANACH “, assists health workers in making proper physical examination, medical diagnoses and prescribing appropriate treatment of children’s illnesses.
“ALMANACH, which includes both preventive and curative elements, is based on collaboration of healthcare providers with families and communities. It will greatly impact the quality of the care delivered for the children “says Ana Maria Guzman, who coordinates ICRC’s health activities in Somalia.
ALMANACH (Algorithms for the Management of Acute Childhood illnesses) is an electronic application for medical practitioners, including doctors, nurses, and community health workers, available on smartphones and tablets. The application assists them to seek and ask for the conditions and symptoms of the child, prompts on the need to perform a complete physical examination and laboratory tests, prescribe the most effective treatment and, as the case may be, refer the child to another health structure if treatment is not available in the facility. The tool also provides information on medical resources at disposal in the locality, including medicines, health staff and laboratory testing.
“Two months after the implementation of ALMANACH, I already see the outcome of proper case management and a reduction of antibiotic prescriptions. Before the use of the application, the nurses were focusing on the signs and symptoms of the child and then rushed to diagnosis. Now with ALMANACH, they are doing a thorough physical examination and history and considering as well as laboratory test when needed,” said Abdulkadir Hassan, Mogadishu SRCS Branch Health Officer.
ALMANACH also provides the latest information on children health issues and provides guidance to health workers in giving children health education and advice to the community in their specific context, for instance on the importance of breastfeeding, complementary feeding, and care and treatment given at home. Talks are being conducted at community level by community health committees and health workers, so that the community understands the program and takes advantage of it.
“Communities have heard about ALMANACH information, we go to households every day to communicate messages on ALMANACH, we use a flip chart that conveys the reality on the ground with illustrations that can be easily understood,” said Fadumo Heri – working on health promotion at the Afgoi Health Clinic.
See the latest ALMANACH Epidemiologic Bulletin (Somalia)
The ALMANACH-Somalia program is a project initiated through the collaboration of the ICRC, the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), and the Somali Red Crescent (SRCS).