The meeting with the Katsina State Ministry of Health went interestingly. The permanent secretariat had already made up his mind before we walked in the door that he was not interested in eHealth, period. So, after driving 2 hours to Katsina, spending the night in a hotel, and then waiting for 3 hours in the morning for the meeting to start, getting that response was a bit disappointing. But, the day was not a waste and actually turned out really well. We meet with a team member for the Health Information Management Systems task force for Katsina who is also the coordinator of the Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health program. He was very interested in our system and asked for a proposal and budget. He would like to do implementations at 3 hospitals, one in each district. I wrote the proposal today, Dr. Sada from Pathfinder is taking a look at it tonight, and then hopefully we will send it by tomorrow!
Also, another great opportunity appeared that same day. Shehu Makarfi , the provost for the Shehu Idris School of Health Science and Technology, was staying a the Tahir Hotel (the same place I am staying) and we meet with him that night. He just so happens to be on the commission for PATHs 2 (DIFID Health Program) and they have put health information management into their budget this time. The idea that they had for the Health Information Management system is concurrent with our system. Shehu Makarfi has asked us to do a write up on the effects the EMR system had at the Family Health Unit. Once he receives that, he will set up a meeting between us and the permanent secretariat of Kaduna. We think that this is our most promising option at the moment. We are traveling to Kaduna next Wed to meet with the Family Health Unit and write the report.
Other good news, we found housing! We have known the manager of the Tahir for some time now and asked him if we could get a discount since we were staying so long. He got the manager and he told us that he could give us a rate of N8,000 ($53) per night….. well, thats a bit over our budget, so we negotiated it down to N5,500. That’s almost a 75% discount off the normal rate. Boooyahh. Sometimes asking for something actually works!
That’s all for now. Adam just bought a motorcycle so I am going to go and see it. Now we can travel around without it being such a hassle. AND … I get to learn how to ride it!