Use of Smartphone for Supportive Supervision in Nigeria


Background: Based on in-country consultations, capacity to provide high-quality TB/TBHIV services is sub-optimal and not unrelated to weak supervision. Within the National TB Program (NTP) in Nigeria, supervision is entirely paper based; time consuming and structured in a way that rapid review of results is neither available nor timely resolution of problems. Objective: Describe the value of smart phones in improving quality of supervision. Methods: This is a descriptive study. With the NTP open to exploring innovative ways of strengthening supervision, Health Systems 20/20 in collaboration with the NTP proposed a pilot use of smart phones for supervision at health facilities, with focus in Abia state. The State was purposively selected for the study. A stake-holders meeting was convened to fully engage all key TB partners. Situation analysis was conducted in Abia state, a south-east state selected for the pilot, out of which 4 facilities were identified. National and state supervisory checklists were reviewed, programmed & uploaded unto the smart phones. The State TB teams were trained on the use of the smart phone & 6 supervisory visits were conducted within 4 consecutive quarters in Abia state for each facility. Results: Within the pilot sites, the smart phones were noted to be user friendly with rapid review of results done at each visit. Immediate feedback and corrective action for identified challenges were made. However, the record of previous findings and recommendations could not be retrieved on the spot during subsequent visits due to storage capacity of the phone. The time spent on supervision was reduced to 2 hrs per facility using the smart phones compared to 4 hrs when using the paper based at other sites. With scale up from 4 to 45 DOT centers, the treatment success rate in the state TB program increased from 76% in 2011 to 85% in 2012 reporting year, for cases registered in the previous year. Conclusions: NTP through support of other partners should adopt and scale up the use of smart phones for supervision nationwide.

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Onuka, O. , Madukwe, O. , Chukwueme, N. , Gidado, M. , Emperor, U. , Agbaiyero, K. and Adeleke, O. (2015) Use of Smartphone for Supportive Supervision in Nigeria. iBusiness, 7, 75-80. doi: 10.4236/ib.2015.72009.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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