This summer, I have been accepted to do my Applied Field Experience with IntraHealth International. IntraHealth is a North Carolina-based non-profit organization that has served the public health needs of developing countries for more than 35 years. IntraHealth’s mission is to empower health workers to better serve communities in need around the world.1
Based in the Chapel Hill office, I was assigned to join the IntraHealth’s programs focused in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which is my native country. IntraHealth interventions engage local government and institutions to strengthen country ownership and promote sustainability of interventions. IntraHealth’s programs in the DRC focus on helping the Ministry of Health (MOH) better plan and manage its health workforce, improving the education and training of midwives and nurses, and strengthening the social service workforce to meet the needs of orphans and other vulnerable children.
The DRC is the largest country by land area in Africa and rich in natural resources. But decades of wars, conflicts, and instability have left its population of more than 70 million with limited access to even basic health services and a severe health workforce shortage.
I am working with the project “Accès Aux Soins de Santé Primaires” (ASSP), through which IntraHealth is providing technical assistance for strengthening human resource information management. IntraHealth is leading the process of reviewing staffing standards and assisting the MOH to use the World Health Organization’s Workload Indicators of Staffing Need (WISN) methodology to determine the staffing requirements for nurses and doctors.
Developed by the WHO, the WISN helps calculate the number and types of staff a health facility needs based on the time it takes to carry out an activity to the professionally acceptable standard, the available working time, i.e., the time that a health worker is actually available for work and the workload of the facility based on available service statistics.2 The WISN is a Human Resource Management tool that determines how many health workers of a particular type are required to cope with the workload of a given health facility and assesses the workload pressure of the health workers in that facility.3 The WISN method is only one in a set of tools, that improves how human resources are planned and managed.4
Also through ASSP, IntraHealth has begun deployment of the iHRIS Human Resources of Health information system at the national level and in five provinces (Kinshasa, Kasai Occidental, Equateur, Katanga and Sud-Kivu). IntraHealth’s iHRIS platform will provide the MOH with information to address health workforce shortages and solve other challenges across the health sector as the identification of ghost workers and the identification of health workers who should be retired. IntraHealth provides technical assistance in iHRIS development, data collection, and analysis, and in usage of HR data in iHRIS to support decision making, planning, and policy reform. To date, approximately 45,000 health workers records have been collected in iHRIS in two provinces.
I am involved in the monitoring of that iHRIS database and the entire process and I am contributing to develop papers on the WISN process, on the ASSP Strategy and on Ghost health workers in DRC.
This internship is also an opportunity for me to support Monitoring and Evaluation efforts and Program Management of the IntraHealth’s DRC office.
More information on IntraHealth can be found at www.intrahealth.org
I would be happy to share more about my internship experience and I am available at firstname.lastname@example.org
- WHO: Applying the WISN method in practice: case studies from Indonesia, Mozambique and Uganda .World Health Organization 2010. ISBN 978 92 4 150020 3 (NLM classification: W 76)