EAC launches Zanzibar Reproductive, Maternal, New-Born, Child and Adolescent Health Scorecard 2022

29 Mar 2023
East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 29th March, 2023: The East African Community has launched the 2022 Reproductive, Maternal, New-Born, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) Digital Scorecard for the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar.   Officiating at the launch of the scorecard, the Minister of Health in the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, Hon. Nassor Ahmed Mazrui, said that the digital scorecard was an innovative intervention aimed at promoting accountability while improving access to health data, information and knowledge sharing for better results, better tracking and stronger oversight for women’s and children’s health.   “This scorecard will facilitate us in keeping track of key maternal and child health indicators, identification of bottlenecks and drive action to inform policymaking at the national and regional level,” said the Minister. Hon. Mazrui further said that by using this scorecard as a critical decision-making tool, the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar would ensure the availability of standard antenatal care services throughout Zanzibar in an effort to ascertain expecting mothers do not have to travel long distances seeking medical services.   The Minister revealed that the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar had set aside funds for the construction of district hospitals throughout Zanzibar, an initiative that was currently underway.   “I wish to inform you that we anticipate that by June 2023, all district hospitals currently under construction will be fully operational, as well as one regional hospital by July 2023,” he said.   Representing the EAC Secretary General, Hon. (Dr) Peter Mathuki, the EAC Director of Social Sectors, Dr. Irene Charles Isaka, said that the EAC Secretariat has been implementing different digital health systems since 2013.   “These systems have provided linkages and inter-operability with counterpart systems in EAC Partner States, which have better facilitated evidence-based decision making by policy makers and formulation of strategic interventions at the national and regional level,” said Dr. Isaka.   Dr. Isaka said that the EAC scorecard for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) was established in 2014, making it the first scorecard by a Regional Economic Community (REC) in the African Union. The EAC has since supported other RECs like SADC to establish similar initiatives. The RMNCAH Scorecard tracks progress made by EAC Partner States in the implementation of Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) against global, continental and regional commitments.   The EAC health scorecard has over the years evolved from its initial focus on women’s and children’s health and currently covers a broad range of EAC regional health issues including pandemics and health financing.   In addition to digitizing the scorecard, the EAC Secretariat has constituted an EAC Experts’ Working Group on Digital Health, Data, Technologies and Innovation (DIDATI), a multi-disciplinary team of technology-minded professionals under the health sector. The working group is tasked with reviewing and providing technical guidance to a number of EAC regional digital heath systems.   This initiative is in line with the Community’s objective of establishing resilient digital health systems that can facilitate real time updates of disease outbreaks as well as support the scientific evaluation of the performance of various health interventions.