Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Improving national data collection systems from voluntary counselling and testing centres in Kenya

Kennedy N Otwombe, John Wanyungu, Kilonzo Nduku, Miriam Taegtmeyer

Problem

Voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) data from the registered sites in Kenya have been fraught with challenges, leading to insufficient statistics in the national office for planning purposes. An exercise was carried out to determine the barriers to the flow of data in VCT sites in Kenya.

Approach

A record-based survey was conducted at 332 VCT sites in Kenya. Data from on-site records were compared with those in the national office. The exercise was conducted in 2004 between 5 September and 15 October.

Local setting

All registered VCT sites in Kenya.

Relevant changes

After the exercise, various measures to enhance VCT data collection and reporting were implemented. They include the provision of a uniform data collection and reporting tool to all the districts in the country, the strengthening of a feedback mechanism to update provinces and districts on their reporting status and increased support to the data component of the national quality assurance for VCT.

Lessons learned

Periodical field visits by the national officials to offer on-the-job training about data management to data collectors and to address data quality issues can dramatically improve the quality and completeness of VCT reports. The perceived relevance of the data and the data collection process to those working at the sites is the critical factor for data quality and timeliness of reporting.

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