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‘Information vital for healthcare’

CHALI MULENGA, Livingstone
DEPUTY Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya says district health information systems are critical for surveillance and planning in the provision healthcare services.
Dr Chilufya said the health sector in collaboration with co-operating partners commenced the implementation of a web-based health facility data base called district health information system (DHIS2).
He was speaking in Livingstone on Wednesday during the DHIS2 academy training conducted by Oslo University.
“This tool is the main source of health facility statistics in the country and is used by programme managers and other stakeholders at all levels of the health care delivery systems and evidence-based decision making,” Dr Chilufya said.
He said the health sector was previously relying on paper-based health information systems to collect health facility data, affected implementation of urgent decisions, especially in the event of disease outbreaks.
He said the introduction of a web-based DHIS2 will be beneficial to the health sector in planning for the provisions of health services.
Dr Chilufya said electronic collection and reporting is quicker, reliable and easy to check for quality of data.
Dr Chilufya urged the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Community Development Mother and Child Health and co-operating partners on the need to strengthen the development of a collaboration framework for the maintenance of DHIS2.
He said the ministry would take the lead to ensure synergy and involvement of all districts and health facilities.
Dr Chilufya said that Government is aware of the challenges that the region faces in the health sector in the implementation of DHIS2.
“The challenges of implementing DHIS2 is lack of adequate staff with skills at various  levels of the health care delivery  systems, lack of adequate data capturing tools,” he said.
Dr Chilufya said the other challenge is the proliferation of parallel reporting systems, poor harmonisation and lack of standards and specification for both paper and electronic tools.




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