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Jamaica Ministry of Health adopts GNU Health

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By Gaby Brenes
 
"If yu waa good, yu nose affi run"
 
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Welcome presentation of
 GNU Solidario Mission by the MoH

"Success requires hard work" is the meaning of this Jamaican proverb. With a bright Caribbean sun and an even brighter welcoming crew, GNU Health unshipped in a new bay this week. In cooperation with the Ministry of Health (MoH), a group mission of GNU Solidario visited Jamaica and inaugurated officially the project of deploying GNU Health within their Public Health Care system. 
The mission is in the context of the agreement signed between Jamaica Ministry of Health and GNU Solidario, to cooperate in the implementation of GNU Health, the Free Health and Hospital Information System in this country.

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This step is a tipping point in health history, granted that Jamaica is the first country to embrace GNU Health nationwide. A herculean task, this implementation is demanding cross-sectoral integrations from all the regions of this country. Hence, not only the permanent secretary of the MoH, Dr. Jean Dixon, vouched for this undertaking, but Mr. Gary Campbell (Director, ICT; Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining) also extended his blessing while announcing the GOJ FOSS Migration project and how it will cooperate with the GNU Health enterprise as well.

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Programmers, system administrators, physicians, nurses, health records staff, as well as other public officials gathered to participate in several meetings, workshops and focus groups. The MoH Health Informatics team itself had representatives from both the national and the regional levels, as well as Health Records, Clinical, IT and Management Personnel. 

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After an intense week, the initial guidelines for the project were designed in order to complete the first stage by the end of this year. Moreover, our GNU Solidario team visited the Slipe Pen Road Comprehensive Health Centre for incipient calculations and further extrapolations.


 The path towards the national deployment has started, and both the local team at the Ministry of Health and GNU Solidario are optimistic and determined about fulfilling the roadmap and its expectations.
This initiative has generated a gratification that transcends the local jurisdiction, so that not only the Free Software community, but the whole world rejoice in this unprecedented milestone within Public Health Care.
 
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Main IT crew that attended the workshops
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Jamaican MoH building in Kingston

As stated at World Health Organization (WHO) Primary Health Care portal, "the ultimate goal of primary health care is better health for all". WHO has identified five key elements to achieve that goal[1]:

  • reducing exclusion and social disparities in health;
  • organizing health services around people's needs and expectations ;
  • integrating health into all sectors;
  • pursuing collaborative models of policy dialogue; and
  • increasing stakeholder participation.
That is GNU Health objective : Universality in Health Care. eHealth for all !

 
[1] The World Health Organization (WHO): Primary Health Care
 
About GNU Health

GNU Health is a Free Health and Hospital Information System that provides the following functionality: 

  • Health Information System (Demographics, Epidemiology)
  • Hospital Information System
  • Electronic Medical Record 

*GNU Health won the Best Project of Social Benefit from the Free Software Foundation, among other international awards.

*GNU Health is an official GNU Package , and is part of GNU Solidario, an NGO that delivers health with free software. GNU Solidario and the United Nations University, International Institute for Global Health have signed an agreement to implement and to train Health professionals GNU Health around the world.

*GNU Health was presented at the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Communication Union (ITU) session "ICT for Improving Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health" at the World Summit on the Information Society - WSIS 2013 Forum in Geneva.

 

Information

Email contact:
lfalcon[at]gnusolidario[dot]org
City/Location:
Las Palmas
Source:
Jamaica Ministry of Health adopts GNU Health
Geographic coverage:
Europe, Central and South America, International Organizations
Themes:
Health, United Nations
Keywords:
eHealth, free software, gnu, gnu health, jamaica, open source, public health