Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Global Fund and the Civil Society in Malaria Control, Immunisation and Nutrition (ACOMIN) have urged the federal government to urgently find solution to the problem of unavailability of accurate data in the country’s healthcare system.
ACOMIN which engages in advocacy and monitoring of malaria Elimination programmes in 13 states in Nigeria, also said there was need for more resources, especially from local sources to be invested in anti-malaria campaign.
Speaking during the ACOMIN’s National Advocacy Focused Media quarterly meeting in Abuja the Acting Executive Secretary of Global Fund-Nigeria, Ibrahim Tajudeen, said lack of appropriate data had been a major challenge in the effort to achieve targets set for the health sector.
He said: “We need to underscore the fact that data speaks volumes when it comes to challenges facing the healthcare system in Nigeria. We may provide more resources and try to get the governance right, but when it comes to data and population, the challenges that have been experienced over the years are huge.
“We always have issues when it comes to practicalisation and programme are not well integrated, it is difficult when we are planning with the little resources that available and then to get the best value from that resources,” he added.
Tajudeen said there was need to urgently address what he called the porous data system in the country.
“In fact, if there is anything we can consider urgently is to declare a state of emergency on our data system. He said that all the efforts to make more funds available to the healthcare sector may not yield the expected result, if we don’t work with accurate data.
“For example you advocate and get government and other private sector donors to allocate more resources to a malaria programme, but when you don’t have quality data to how many people that are having malaria in the last one week, then you don’t have real-time data.
“Over the years, we have been confusing aggregate data with quality data and that prevents us from using available data to guide an informed decision-making. The quantity of malaria drug required in Nigeria today is clear. This is why we have relied on estimates for our planning,” he said.
Tajudeen said in the last six months, the National Malaria Elimination Programme could not authoritatively say what the number of fever cases presented at hospitals in the country were.
According to him, ACOMIN has shown through its advocacy how communities had played significant role both in terms of contribution, supporting facilities and in service delivery.