Olivier PRAZ, Senior Policy Advisor, Global Programme Health / Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
Tanzania: Ally-Kebby Abdallah, Project Manager Tanzania Office, Health Promotion and System Strengthening (HPSS) / Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (SwissTPH) and Dr. James Tumaini Kengia, Coordinator for Regional Health Management Teams, Health System Strenghthening Resource Centre, Emergency Medical Services and Research & Publication / President's Office Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG)
Nepal: Dr. Damodar Basula, Executive Director / Health Insurance Board (HIB)
Cameroon: George Atohmbom, Director of Operations and Finance / Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province Health Assistance (BEPHA)
The Gambia: Momodou L. Jarju, Co-founder and CTO / 2M Corp
The objective of the panel was to let users share their experiences on implementations of openIMIS in their diverse scheme and country setting. Representatives from Tanzania, Cameroon and the Gambia reported on the requirements, customisation steps, capacity development to support the implementation and the overall impact the tool brought in terms of beneficiary numbers and services provided to them, efficiency gains on the side of the scheme operator and connected health facilities in Tanzania and Cameroon, or fo pay-out offices administrating a cash transfer in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Gambia.
Ally-Kebby Abdallah: “(…) openIMIS is now being used nationwide, in 184 district councils in Tanzania mainland, supporting enrollment processes in more than 12.000 villages and more than 400 hamlets. The system is connected to about 6.000 health facilities, where members can receive treatment.
In the pilot phase and even now (after the roll-out) openIMIS had proven very efficient in terms of enrollment. There are currently over 3 million people enrolled, i.e. registered and they have access to the health facilities mentioned. Also, in terms of claims management in the health facilities – they work with the claims submission system already for several months and claims can be paid to the health facilities out of the Community-Health Fund. In that line, openIMIS has improved the efficiency of scheme operation, but also ensured that the Fund flow to the health facilities is improving.”
George Atohmbom: “(…) With the HIV fee elimination scheme in Cameroon, taking the experience we had gained from the BEPHA scheme, it was easy for us to support the government in defining the business processes of the programme, to come up with Standard Operations Procedures (SOPs) and define the customisation needs for openIMIS. The previous implementation experience helped a lot. For the training, we first had to identify national stakeholders, and stakeholders on the regional level, whom we trained to become the core group trainers. In the next step they provided the training to the health facilities at the community level. With this we registered some successes together with some setbacks, because the government requested that we should use openIMIS for a pilot and they wanted us to run it in a very short time. To carry out all the required Capacity Development for the trainers to have a comprehensive understanding in the narrow time frame was quite a challenge. We kind of had to be everywhere, at all times. But we hope we planned and invested well ahead of time as the government is discussing to roll-out openIMIS on this programme to other regions and to other hospitals. Now we can see the trend to use openIMIS.”
Momodou L. Jarju: “(…) Internally we had discussed developing social protection scheme software for a while. We researched for existing open source systems doing something similar. That is how we came across openIMIS. Personally, I have a background in developing insurance claims management systems in Senegal and when we checked openIMIS, we could easily abstract that this system actually has, what we wanted to do, just the terminologies are somehow different. (…) This is how openIMIS helped the government to achieve the cash transfer implementation in the Gambia. Considering, that it took us a week to build the prototype, I would say the system was done in a really nice, easy to scale and easy to add way.”
Further information on openIMIS implementations: