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WHO supports the Ministry of Health to Strengthen Routine Health Facility Data Analysis and Use

Entebbe, Data quality, analysis and use are instrumental in the delivery of quality and equitable health services in Uganda. Consequently, the Ministry of Health (MoH), with support from the World Health Organization (WHO), is conducting a three-day workshop aimed at strengthening health facility data quality, analysis and use.

The workshop provides a unique opportunity for national stakeholders to identify key routine health facility data challenges and ways of addressing critical gaps to improve analysis and use of health data for action. One of the data improvement actions is to promote and strengthen integrated data aligned to investments in given health facility data systems and scale it up The other is to promote and strengthen national data capacity through global, regional and national networks of technical experts from ministries of health, national institutes, academia and other stakeholders.

Opening the workshop, the Commissioner- Planning at the Ministry of Health, Dr Sarah Byakika, emphasized the importance of quality data and its proper use in health services delivery. We are encouraging data use in the Ministry. We have installed screens to project surveillance data for interface with the public. We need to ensure that this data is used beyond the Ministry of Health, she said.

Dr Byakika was particularly concerned with challenges in reporting quality data and usage that are compounded by gaps in data analysis. She thus appreciated the support from partners in ensuring data improvement for better health service delivery.

Dr Bayo Fatunmbi, who represented WHO at the opening function, emphasized the importance of data in district health planning and service delivery noting that if districts can analyse and use data to plan and provide health services, it will go a long way in improving public health in the country. Health service delivery is highly dependent on quality data. This ensures equitable provision of services and improves the quality of services too, he said.

With data standardization, the country will have health facility data systems that are similar for all facilities. These will include core indicators, aggregated and case-based data, quality assessment methods, best practice analysis and dashboards.

WHO has provided a toolkit with modules on principles of data analysis and use for national and district planners as well as programmes-specific modules such as HIV, immunization, malaria, and tuberculosis. Additional modules still in development are on maternal and child health, non-communicable diseases, surveillance, neglected tropical diseases and nutrition. The modules also include reference health applications that translate the WHO data standards into a downloadable application for District Health Information Systems (DHIS2) users.

Other partners supporting this initiative include GAVI, the Global Fund, University of Oslo and UNICEF.

Source: World Health Organization

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