President William Ruto is among seven heads of state and government who have received Excellence and Innovation Awards for advancing the digitalisation agenda for malaria, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH), and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) as well as enhancing data-driven decision-making from the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA)
Umaro Sissoco Embaló, President of the Republic of Guinea Bissau and Chair of ALMA announced the winners of the inaugural ALMA Joyce Kafanabo Awards for Excellence and Innovation at the sidelines of the African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The award celebrates countries that have made significant progress in the digitalisation of national health programmes and enhanced data-driven decision-making to improve health services and outcomes.
The awards are named after Joyce Kafanabo, former Senior Director at ALMA, who passed away in January 2021.
"These awards are a fitting tribute to the legacy of Joyce Kafanabo and the impact she had on the fight against malaria and other diseases, and they serve as a testament to the progress that has been made and the potential for continued success in the fight against these diseases," said President Embaló.
According to the organisers, the ALMA scorecard for accountability and action tracks countries’ progress against priority malaria, RMNCAH, and NTDs indicators across the continent, with over 40 countries adopting national and sub-national scorecards.
The Excellence and Innovation awards recognise countries that have significantly strengthened their country scorecards through public sharing, capacity building at the sub-national level to enhance data-driven decision-making, and empowering citizens to improve health services and outcomes.
Kenya was honoured for the best RMNCAH scorecard tool, which has been decentralized to the county level and shared with key partners.
Zambia won the award for best malaria scorecard tool, which it uses to generate and track actions through existing accountability mechanisms at national and sub-national levels.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) received an award for the best NTD scorecard tool, which it uses to enhance collaboration and coordination among stakeholders, monitor interventions, identify bottlenecks, and stimulate action while Ethiopia was honoured for the best community scorecard tool, introduced in 55% of districts across the country, and has improved community engagement in health services.
Rwanda won the award for best institutionalization of scorecard tools across malaria and RMNCAH. The country has regularly taken innovative approaches to its scorecard use, including integrated malaria and NTDs scorecards and their RMNCAH scorecard. The two scorecards are identified in the country's strategic plan as key performance and management tools to track the progress of indicators.
Ghana won the award for best innovative use of scorecard tools, becoming the first to include community-generated scorecard data in its health management information system. Tanzania won the award for best innovative use of scorecard tools, including training MPs on scorecard use, translating scorecards into the local language, and developing a mobile app for scorecard data collection.