Maria Kamau is Montrose’s Health Management and Information Systems (HMIS) Specialist for the DFID-funded Health Pooled Fund (HPF3) in South Sudan. She has over 16 years’ experience in implementing routine public health information systems strengthening projects.
She supports the monitoring of performance in HPF3 across all 55 counties within the eight supported states of South Sudan. This entails collaborating with the Ministry of Health, implementing partners and other stakeholders to operationalise district health information systems. She ensures a rigorous system of standardised quality data collection, collation and analysis, focusing on increasing and improving use of the information available for planning, decision-making and managing the health services at all levels.
Maria is also an IT professional by training and experience. Prior to joining HPF3, she supervised the development and implementation of the first web-enabled computerised Health Management Information System (HMIS) in Kenya (Kwale model). As the key project implementer, she coordinated training of 1,700 health staff (including 300 health service managers) in 23 districts on the use of revised tools, as well as training over 30 data managers across the three provinces to ensure functional competence in use of the pilot district HMIS software.
She also coordinated strengthening of the routine HMIS data collection systems in Somalia through developing standard tools adopted by all health facilities in Somaliland, Puntland and South-Central Somalia.
Maria’s more recent efforts, based in Kenya, were focused on strengthening the HMIS at both national and county levels, with particular focus at facility level. This was to pilot implementation of computerised HMIS and building capacity to make meaningful use of ICT by health staff.
Maria holds an MBA in International Business, a BSc in Mathematics and Geography, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Science, all from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. Her current passion is harnessing the potential of geographic information systems in strengthening meaningful use of health data for decision-making.