December 5, 2022

Health information: SCI, GSK donate N8.10m equipment to Lagos State

By Sola Ogundipe

Towards enabling public health secondary health facilities in Lagos to utilise reported health data for informed decisions, Save the Children International, SCI, Nigeria, through the INSPIRING Project, has donated the District Health Information Software 2 (DHIS2) Dashboard App valued at N2.5 million, and 30 internet tablets valued at N5.6 million to the Lagos State Health Service Commission.

In line with the donation made possible with the support of GlaxoSmithKline, 30 health workers and trainers have been trained on the judicious use of the dashboard.

The DHIS2 is an open-source, web-based software used as a health management information system tool for collecting, analyzing, visualizing, and sharing data.

Receiving the items at the handing over/presentation ceremony weekend, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Health Service Commission, Dr Benjamin Eniayewun, described the development as a paradigm shift, even as he noted that it would go a long way in enhancing correct information accessibility and interpretation in decision making by the Health Management Information System, HMIS, in the state.

  Eniayewun said, “We all know the importance of timely data and correct information in decision making and now we are trying to make life better. Our role is to identify those who are most adept with this technology and then train others, and we are sure that this will happen seamlessly. What we are after is sustainability, in one or two years down the line we are looking for improvement and sustainable progress.

“It is a paradigm shift in how our hospitals will be capturing and handling data and rendering it for information gathering. Before now, there were issues with data collation, most of which was being done manually, but with this training and introduction of DHIS tablets, I believe it is a big step towards rendering timely, accurate, and very useful data and this will be the beginning for Nigeria.”

According to him, if the whole country can key into this, decision-making in health care will be seamless. Thanking SCI Nigeria and GSK, he said previously, data collection had been manual as a result of a lack of access to technology.

“We are trying to correct the gaps through capacity training and providing the right technology and software. All this and the DHIS platform will make data gathering easier. Technology is here, capacity building has been done, and we have support from partners.

He said the technology was being embraced to make the work easier. Noting the in-built safety measures in the dashboard, he said the manipulation of data was not possible.

“The whole idea of the technology is to prevent manipulation and that is why the platform is there. If any garbage is put in, the system will flag it, if the right result is not there the health care centre that is concerned will be flagged. There are ways to check and cross-check the data.

“Data is not just data. “The idea is to gather the right data and generate accurate information that can be used for planning and decision-making. The essence is to gather the right quality information.“