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openIMIS Newsletter June 2020

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to have drastic effects worldwide, the need for social protection systems, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) has been amplified. The implementation of efficient, effective, and equitable social protection measures requires the use of complex business processes. Without the required digital tools to manage these business processes, it becomes much more difficult for LMICs to offer social protection to their citizens.

Initially developed for managing social health protection schemes in LMICs and currently supporting the management of over 5 million beneficiaries, openIMIS has the potential to be customized to the needs of other forms of social protection programs. The openIMIS initiative has engaged in discussions on how openIMIS as an open-source tool can provide field-proven technology and implementation support for other social protection systems. We see an increase in cash transfer schemes being put in place to respond to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to manage these programs and ensure equity, transparency, and efficiency in the implementation, it is imperative that countries have robust digital tools. In addition to the management of beneficiary databases and patient health records required for SHP, openIMIS manages contribution payments as well as payments to the health facilities. This existing feature of handling funds can be developed further to manage business processes for cash transfer schemes. Furthermore, the modern architecture of openIMIS allows local, in-country teams to customize and modify the software themselves, which in turn helps build digital capacities in partner countries. The ability to easily modify the software enables countries to effectively manage the business processes of their various social protection programs in order to increase quality, as well as to extend coverage of the schemes to the population most effected by the pandemic.

We would be very happy to hear your ideas on how to leverage the strengths of openIMIS to support countries in their fight against COVID-19. Please reach out to us at!


openIMIS support for the implementation of a new health financing strategy - Zanzibar, Tanzania 

The Zanzibar government has consistently shown a strong political commitment to provide quality health care for all citizen with the goal of achieving UHC. Currently, healthcare in Zanzibar’s is 100% subsidized by government (and donors), with clients accessing for free at public healthcare facilities. Public healthcare facilities provide care for more than 90% of all healthcare users in Zanzibar.

Due to limited resources, the island struggles with poor clinical indicators due to inadequate funding and inefficient resource allocation.The government made it clear that more funding will be required in the system to finance UHC in Zanzibar and has undertaken measures to review the health financing policy. The health policy of the year 2000 was reviewed in the year 2010. As a result a need for having alternative funding sources for the health sector has been identified.  

The Zanzibari government has requested PharmAccess International to support them in their efforts to obtain timely and reliable service utilization data that will form key input in the process of reviewing the health financing system to a more sustainable model that still enables citizens to access quality services.  

PharmAccess introduces and supports collection of utilization data with openIMIS in more than 44 health facilities. openIMIS will be used as a system for the individual’s enrolment and processing utilization data. Data will be analyzed  to uncover inefficiencies and facilitate informed decision making for the new government Health Financing Strategy, as well as to provide digital infrastructure for the envisioned health insurance scheme. 
(by PharmAccess)