We were thrilled to accept an award on behalf of the South Halmahera Malaria Centre (SHMC) team at the GovInsider Innovation Awards ceremony that took place in Singapore last week. It is a testament to the determination of Pak Firmansyah Mustafa and his team that LaCak Malaria won the ‘Best Adaptation’ award for their perseverance and commitment to improving the speed and quality of malaria reporting in the North Malukus.
The award acknowledges an innovative approach that has evolved from its initial construct to better serve users and improve service delivery approach. Developed in 2015, the system was designed to solve the problem of delayed response to malaria cases due to a paper-based monitoring and reporting system. Prior to collaborating with PLJ, SHMC had attempted to improve the reporting system through an online mechanism. Those attempts, however, did not work due to the necessary cost and effort to maintain the computers, as well as the need to secure reliable internet connection and electricity.
After realising that SMS is one of the most dependable and commonly used communication technologies, SHMC decided to develop a cellphone-based malaria reporting system, this time using an Unstructured Service Supplementary Data (USSD) Menu Browser, or UMD. The result is LaCak Malaria, a reporting system that captures data on malaria patients and medicine stock. With this system, SHMC reduced its data collection time by 19 days, making it much more responsive to treat malaria cases.
The SHMC already achieved a significant result for the sustainability of LaCak Malaria by successfully advocating for passage of a regional regulation in late 2015. This ensured that LaCaK Malaria was fully funded under the centre’s budget from regional government funds. The SHMC is currently considering to expand the functionality of LaCaK Malaria to include nine new reporting fields for both hospital-based reporting and patient-based reporting in South Halmahera districts. It also hopes to promote the sharing of data among malaria centres across Indonesia.
We are really proud of the team at SHMC and wish to congratulate them on their ongoing adaptation and success in delivering public services.
This award reminds us of a blog that we wrote last year about the main takeaways of data innovation — the most compelling being, “Innovation really is about people”. It sure is.
Pulse Lab Jakarta is grateful for the generous support from the Government of Australia.