Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr Soccoh Kabia has unveiled Sierra Leone’s District Health Information System, which is based on the framework and standards of health information data using Health Metrics Network.
The new system will provide information on key indicators of public performance for use by decision-makers as well as leaders in chiefdoms, district offices and at the national level.
The system includes computerized mechanism that captures, collects and analyses data from peripheral health units in the country.
It allows for data on services on the expanded programme on immunization, malaria control, HIV prevention services and making pregnancy safer, to be presented as reports capturing the chiefdom and district levels with a view to having a broader and cogent national outlook.
Speaking at the ceremony the Minister said the revitalization of the System was “a milestone to the development of the country” saying it was designed to support accountable structures by developing district health and facility health reports.
“Information produced from this system will enhance evidence-based decision making at all levels of the Sierra Leone health system” said the minister, adding that it would also contribute to improve better health outcomes and efficiency in the use of existing resources for service delivery.
Dr Kabia also stated that the district health information system is part of a strategic plan developed by the ministry in partnership with Health Metrics Network, World Health Organization, World Bank and UNICEF. He said the system would help reduce the high mortality among children and pregnant women, thereby achieving the goals set out in the National Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper and the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. He encouraged all those involved in the health sector to support the system and use the information it generates.
Dr Bob Pond from Health Metrics Network expressed his appreciation for working with the health ministry and pledged his support to a continued working relationship with the government. He said a lot of money was involved in the projects, especially in the hardware aspect as well as in the training of personnel.
In another development, Minister of Health and Sanitation has disclosed that his ministry is working on a draft for Oral Health Policy in the country.
This policy, according to Dr Don-Davis of the health ministry is at its final stage as was prepared by stakeholders in the heath sector.
By John Baimba Sesay