UNICEF Supports Training for Government on Data Management to Eliminate Malnutrition
By Zodwa Dlamini-Mthethwa
September 2011 - Promoting nutrition, particularly amongst children under the age of five, has been a strong Government priority since August 2009. Action to fight malnutrition began in August 2009 with the declaration of a national emergency resulting in nutrition being positioned at the centre of national development activities and the development of a multi-sectoral National Emergency Plan to Eliminate Malnutrition. In November 2009, the Government convened its first National Nutrition Summit, which led to the development of District Plans to Eliminate Malnutrition (DPEM). UNICEF supported both this process and is supporting the Ministry of Health put in place a monitoring system to track progress using a database technology called Devinfo.
Since May this year, a series of workshops have been held to train district data management teams, from six districts modelling DPEM implementation, on the use of DevInfo to monitor the implementation of the DPEMS. The teams consist of district hospital directors, statisticians, M&E officers, agronomists, data managers, IT officers and supervisors of community health workers.
During August and September, subsequent trainings were held to help district teams to use DevInfo to manage and disseminate data (and even create tables and maps) related to malnutrition. UNICEF remains committed to training staff in all districts to monitor nutrition promotion so that all the children of Rwanda can live healthier lives.