Public Health and Preventive Medicine
Articles Information
Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Vol.1, No.3, Aug. 2015, Pub. Date: Jun. 16, 2015
Involvement of an Academic Institution in Assessing the Health Sector Status for Service Delivery in Western Kenya
Pages: 94-100 Views: 4597 Downloads: 962
[01] Margaret Kaseje, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Great Lakes University of Kisumu, Kisumu, Kenya.
[02] Elizabeth Ochieng, Tropical Institute of Community Health and Development, Great Lakes University of Kisumu, Kisumu, Kenya.
[03] Aaron Mwai, Tropical Institute of Community Health and Development, Great Lakes University of Kisumu, Kisumu, Kenya.
Introduction: The involvement of academic institutions in knowledge creation through surveys promotes sharing of information and research. Academic institutions need to engage with different stakeholders including communities to meaningfully contribute research information to policy and health systems improvement. The engagement of academic institutions in national surveys enhances linkage and interface between academics and research findings that influence policy and practice in health systems. Approximately one third of researchers from academic institutions engage with stakeholders in the research process which limits dissemination of research findings. Objective: This study aimed to determine the role of an academic institution in a national health survey. Methodology: A cross-sectional study carried out by an academic institution, the Great Lakes University of Kisumu in 2013 used qualitative and quantitative methods to update data on health workforce, infrastructure and health services provided in health facilities in Western Kenya. Hand-held Global Positioning System devices were used alongside laptop computers and printed questionnaires for data collection. Supervision and training of students hired as research assistances for data collection constituted an integral part of the survey. The students received both financial support as motivation and academic training to ensure that data collection was rigorous and valid. Academic courses offered to these students comprised practical surveys, questionnaire design and statistics on complex data analysis. Stakeholders as key partners were involved at the different stages of survey design and implementation. Results: The quality of survey data obtained by the academic institution was deemed reliable and valid by the end-users due to the rigor applied in the survey design, data quality checks at points of collection, data entry and analysis, and report production. The in-depth and accurate information collected in minimal time indicated thoroughness in the survey design that included comprehensive data collection instruments. The survey results revealed that the use of hand devices and computers for data collection was effective and reliable since data was relayed in real time, followed with immediate verification of the entered data by the research team. Conclusions: National surveys should engage academic institutions to enrich survey processes and to ensure quality survey data due to the experience and skills of their personnel. Stakeholders should be engaged as partners in surveys and for dissemination of survey results. Costs of surveys can be minimized through use of modern research technologies.
Academic, University, Health Facility, Survey, Partnership, Stakeholder, Global Positioning System
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