Two Microsoft Corporation professionals, Arijit Basu, Principal Programme Manager and Ashish Garg, Senior Programme Manager recently visited and spent two weeks in the CBC Health Services. The end of their two week voluntary services, which was made possible by the My Skills for Africa initiative was marked by a send-forth ceremony at the Baptist Centre in Nkewn Bamenda on April 9, 2015.
While appreciating the duo for their outstanding contributions to the Information Technology (IT) work of the CBC Health Services, the Chief of Administration and Finance (CAF) Mr. Warri Denis mentioned that the system is growing rapidly with issues of IT attracting a lot of attention. “The best way to be more effective is to integrate IT,” remarked the CAF. He counted it a blessing and honour to draw Microsoft Corporation, the biggest software company in the world to Cameroon and to the CBC Health Services in particular. He insisted that the visit of the duo marked the beginning of an endless partnership between Microsoft Corporation and CBC Health Services.
Talking about the impact created by the visit, CAF said the two experts visited some CBC Health Services institutions including Mboppi Baptist Hospital Douala, Banso Baptist Hospital, Mbingo Baptist Hospital and Sabga, Jikijem and Kwighe Baptist Health Centres where they diagnosed IT problems. The desire, the CAF said, is that they will not only provide solutions but assist in designing an IT strategy for the organisation. He called on the pair to be CBC Health Services ambassadors wherever they go, especially in the US.
Arijit Basu and Ashish Garg described their stay in Cameroon as a life-time opportunity. “It’s a big blessing from God and we are leaving with beautiful memories,” they told the CBC Health Services press. They have applauded the efforts of the CBC Health Services IT team noting that there is great work to be done in the days to come. The experts equally commended the cleanliness and quality of care they witnessed in CBC Health Services institutions and observed that what is needed now is advanced technology. They maintained that everyone’s support and not just the IT team is vital to ensure better services to Cameroonians.
The volunteers were coordinated by Mr. Ndosak George; Personnel Manager of the CBC Health Services, who reiterated that thanks to their coming, the system has made additional advancement in the area of IT. The Personnel Manager said the IT team has been moblised for capacity building, which will enable them come up with an action plan for implementation.
Developing an IT strategy with the help of the Microsoft Corporation volunteers will improve CBC Health Services efficiency by leveraging technology to connect our geographically distributed hospitals and health centres, and enabling delivery of health care more efficiently. It will also enable the organization to improve transparency and accountability in personnel and financial tracking. In the long-term, a successful partnership with Microsoft could be used as model with hospitals in the region.
Feedback from trainees
During their stay at the CBCHS, Arijit Basu and Ashish Garg facilitated intensive training workshops with members of the IT Committee. Some of them gave the following testimonies:
‘This training gave us the opportunity to interact with high-level professionals who helped us see areas to improve on. It was indeed an eye opener for me; unless you are exposed you can’t know what to do. This training has strengthened the IT department a lot. Now our goal will be to incorporate IT into the goals of the CBCHS. This will increase the security of data and help technicians use up-to-date technology. We have also been given some program apps that can enhance health care provision in one way or the other. This will definitely have a positive toll on patients waiting time, data management and accountability as a whole in the system.’ (Ferdinant Mbiydzenyuy)
‘We were given a lot of resources. Since we didn’t have ample time, we were given links and videos we could use to get training on desired courses. They proposed solutions to hospital management structures, sharing the Kenyan example. The training has helped us to be able to carry out research in areas such as programming. Such research will help us design programs without necessarily buying from elsewhere at exorbitant prices.’ (Harry Sama)