By Kadiri Abdulrahman
In its bid to improve data in Nigeria’s health sector and expand access to healthcare, Federal Ministry of Health, commenced a two-day workshop on National Health Management Information System in Abuja on Monday.
The Director, Health Planning Research and Statistics, Dr Emmanuel Maribole, said that the workshop was co-organised by World Health Organisation, GAVI, Global Fund, among others.
Maribole said that the workshop was aimed at improving the health information system so as to improve access to healthcare across the country.
He said “this workshop is designed to consider findings from the District Health Information Software (DHIS) and develop road-map for its implementation.
“The DHIS is where data is collated for health management information system; it provides information about the number of people who fall sick, maternal and child mortality, life expectancy, among others.
“It will enable government to plan properly for improved health sector.”
Mr Emma Abatta, the Head, National Health Information System, Federal Ministry of Health, said information was key to quality healthcare.
Abatta emphasised that the workshop was aimed at improving the quality of data needed to plan sustainable health system.
He added that “resources are limited, so, proper planning is needed to ensure that money spent on healthcare is well spent. We need to ensure that investments are channelled to the right direction.”
He said that the workshop would ensure that the DHIS software was used for the benefit of healthcare facilities in Nigeria, noting that “we discovered that there are some deficiencies in the software.
“We did assessment and decided to collaborate with partners on how to improve on it.
“We will take recommendations from experts and ensure that those recommendations are implemented.”
The information system head explained that the workshop would lead to centralised data for the Nigeria health sector.
“Our aim is to have a centralised data so that we no longer have fragmented information.
“The data is generated from the health facility, public and private, primary, secondary and tertiary; we are looking at it across all the levels of healthcare,’’ he said.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a resource person from University of Oslo, Norway, was in the workshop to provide technical support.
Participants were drawn from Federal Ministry of Health, some state ministries of health and other health management facilities.