rCHITS Recognized for Excellence in Public Service

From left to right: NTHC Director Dr. Portia Fernandez-Marcelo, rCHITS Project Manager Arturo Ongeko Jr., UP President Alfredo Pascual, and UP Manila Chancellor Carmencita Padilla.

The Real-Time Monitoring of Maternal, Child Health and Governance Indicators through the Community Health Information Tracking System, or rCHITS, was among the six recipients of the University of the Philippines’ (UP) Gawad Pangulo: Award for Excellence in Public Service in an awarding ceremony on Monday, January 30, 2017 at the Executive House in UP Diliman, Quezon City. rCHITS, a project of the National Telehealth Center under the National Institutes of Health of UP Manila, emerged as the winning public service initiative representing health and allied sciences in the UP System.

With the theme, “Galing UP, Lingkod Bayan,” Gawad Pangulo: Award for Excellence in Public Service also recognized other outstanding projects that exemplify “dangal” (honor) and “husay” (excellence) in the fields of arts and letters, and communications; science and technology; social sciences, management, and law; and, agriculture, forestry, fishery, and natural resource management within the university.

In his speech, UP President Alfredo Pascual said that the award sought to “give due recognition to public service as an equally important aspect of UP life.” He added that public service is not only a mandate but a commitment for the lone national university, citing the need for scholarly expertise and technical assistance from academics so that there is “improved quality of life, and social progress and transformation.”

Gawad Pangulo awardee rCHITS is aimed at carrying out better health information system management in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDA) and developing ICT-enabled health workers on the front lines. It has the following components – the use of the multi-awarded electronic medical record Community Health Information System (CHITS); mReports, an android-based application reporting system for rural health midwives to document and transmit clinical data through smartphones; and, the local government unit (LGU) dashboard, a visualization tool that facilitates analysis of health data and decision-making.

From November 2011 to August 2016, rCHITS was implemented in 13 selected GIDA with high rates of maternal mortality and poverty incidence. A total of 365 health workers nationwide were also trained in using rCHITS during the duration of the project. The implementation of rCHITS was made possible through the support of UNICEF Joint Programme on Maternal and Neonatal Health.