Evaluation of the quality of data reported by community health workers: a case study of Gahini hospital catchment area
Community health workers program is a new health intervention in Rwanda and in most developing countries. The program in Rwanda is operational with procedures and manuals for collecting and reporting of data. They collect and report critical data that forms part of the health information system (HIS) which eventually helps in decision making. Therefore, the quality of data reported by community health workers should continuously be evaluated for the purposes of identifying possible weakness and areas for improvement. This was a study to evaluate the quality of data reported by community health workers using a case of Gahini Hospital catchment area. The study was based on examining three quality parameters, namely, completeness, timeliness and reliability of data. The main objective was to evaluate the quality of reported data for key indicators at selected sites within the catchment area of Gahini Hospital. To achieve the above objective, a purposive sampling method was used to select three out of six health centers to be used in the study and lot quality assurance sampling was employed to sample 19 villages from each Health Center which makes 54 villages out of 112 villages found in all the three selected Health centers of Gahini Hospital catchment area. This study evaluated the mentioned parameters using the monthly report of June 2012 and focused specifically on two maternal health indicators namely; the number of pregnant women accompanied by the community health workers for prenatal care during the first four months of pregnancy and number of women referred to the Health Center by the community health workers for delivery. Findings were as follows: The study found good reliability of data transcription from registers and forms into monthly reports and timeliness of reporting but poor completeness of reports produced by the community health workers. The outcome of the study will help Kayonza district in particular and Ministry of Health in general to establish the status of data reported by community health workers in order to identify possible weakness and propose recommendations for future improvement. The study may also trigger an extensive national data quality audit that is likely to lead to more focus in ensuring data quality for the improvement of Rwanda’s health care system.