Stakeholders want private sector included in National Health Info System

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Stakeholders in health sector after their meeting in Abuja
Stakeholders in health sector after their meeting in Abuja

By Felicia Imohimi

Stakeholders in the health sector have called for the inclusion of private healthcare institutions in the National Health Management Information System (NHMIS) to ensure quality service delivery.

They said the inclusion would ensure accurate and quality data and care, boost the nation’s poor health indices and improve service delivery.

The stakeholders included Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria-Partnership in Child and Family Health @Scale (PSN-PACFaH @ Scale).

Others are the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) and Patent and Proprietary Medicines Vendors (PPMVs).

They made the call in Abuja on Saturday at a stakeholders mobilisation workshop organised by the FMoH in collaboration with PSN-PACFaH @ Scale) on the inclusion of data generated from Community Pharmacies (CPs) and PPMVs among others in NHMIS.

Delivering a paper on “Overview of the NHMIS”, Mr Emmanuel Abatta, Head, NHMIS, FMoH noted that all health data at the public domain are not accurate because majority of services provided at the community level were not captured.

He noted that 60 per cent of health care services are provided by CPs and PPMVs, 30 per cent public sector while 10 per cent are from other sources.

He however, said there was the need for the strengthening of data reporting system for CPs and PPMVs in the country to ensure realisation of accurate data that could stand the test of time.

He said: “Strengthening the task shifting with the inclusion of critical CPs and PPMVs as providers of expanded Family Planning services and other primary health care services is key to achieving universal access to health to at least 90 per cent.

Abatta identified the goals of NHMIS to include generation of accurate and real time information for policy makers, programmers, stakeholders that would guide public health actions.

It was also designed to support national and global reporting on progress made on health interventions in the country among others.

“NHMIS acts as an instruments of accountability to government and donors on investments in healthcare, improve service delivery and quality of care.

“It can be a powerful tool to make healthcare delivery more effective and far more efficient and also provide health information service delivery and the system that support it,” he noted.

Dr Edwin Akpotor, Senior Programme Officer of PSN-PACFaH @ Scale Project, said the workshop was aimed at acquainting participants with the concept and functionality of various HMIS platforms.

“Also, to sensitise stakeholders on Community Health Influencers and Promoters Service (CHIPS).

“Others included to deliberate on various steps toward the inclusion of Family Planning and other primary healthcare data generated by CPs and PPMVs into various HMIS.

Akpotor described HMIS as a spreadsheet that shows different health services which is normally produced monthly or quarterly as the case may be.

According to him, it shows the number of patients attended to, disease conditions like Malaria, Diarrhoea and number and types of drugs, FP services rendered and contraceptives.

Akpotor however decried the present statistics on Contraceptive Prevalence Rate, Malaria, among others.

According to him, for not capturing CPs and PPMVs in HMIS we are missing out 60 per cent data as they are the first point of call in primary healthcare.

“Over the years the NHMIS platforms have omitted the inclusion of data from CPs and PPMVs, data of the platform are mostly generated from public facilities, general hospitals and tertiary health institutions.

“So, we see that gap as a major barrier in ensuring that Nigeria meet set targets of FP, reduction in maternal/neonatal mortality rate among others.

“60 per cent of Nigerians patronise CPs and PPMVs and these services are not captured in the 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) among other data platforms.

“And we believe if these data are well captured we will have a better representation and interventions” Akpotor said.

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