Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The federal government has said that it is making efforts to improve and harmonise data documentation in the country’s health sector so as to prevent fragmentation of health information.
It said that henceforth, information and data on all the health facilities in the country can be stored and accessed through one national platform to be put in place very soon.
Head of the National Health Management Information Services (NHMIS), Federal Ministry Health, Mr. Abata Emmanuel who disclosed this at the opening of a two-day national workshop for the revised tools for data capturing in the health sector organised by the ministry in Abuja on Monday, said the meeting will set new guidelines for data reporting.
He also spoke on the reason for the workshop, saying that the idea was to develop tools for efficient and credible means of monitoring and recording everyday activities in the health facilities in the country.
“What we did was to bring everybody’s interest together and to see that we updated the tools to capture everybody’s interest so that we don’t have multiplicity of data in the health facilities, so that partners can use the same data we are using. By this way, we are trying to save resources as well,” he said.
Emmanuel said the tools were the registers and forms to be used for data collection and documentation of everyday activities in a health facility.
According to Emmanuel, one of the things the ministry discovered was that there were multiplicities of data from the health sector, thereby making it difficult to monitor and track.
“We have fragmentations because at a point, when the tool is obsolete, information become obsolete and interventions are coming in and there are new global reporting needs, other partners will begin to make efforts to capture their own data.
“It will be a burden on health Workers and there is the likelihood that they are going to abandon the national tools and start reporting using the partners,” he said.
Emmanuel explained that that one of the key objectives of yesterday’s workshop is to
On the quality of health data in the country, Emmanuel said that considering where we are coming from, the data is good, adding that, “we almost had 80-90 percent health reporting of facilities in our platform”.
While declaring the workshop open, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire said the development of quality healthcare data will definitely impact positively on the work of decision-makers and will enable them have better outcomes.
He said the ministry was making efforts to improve quality of care and information generation through the use of technology, as part of its strategic vision, which it wants development partners to support.
“The system is not only for the planning, monitoring, and evaluation of healthcare service activities, but also for day-to-day patient management, health education, resource allocation,
disease prioritisation, and decision making,” he said.
Earlier, the Director of Planning and Statistics, Ministry of Health, Emmanuel Meribole gave insight on the objectives, saying that it was aimed at generating improved quality routine health data to help achieve effective healthcare delivery system.