With financial support from United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), WHO Regional Office for Africa is supporting the establishment of National Health Observatories (NHOs) to serve as a one-stop-shop for all relevant national-level health data and information in the region. This has started in countries in the Region: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.
The NHOs have been already deployed in Rwanda and Kenya and are being fine-tuned before their launch. In Burkina Faso, Cameroon, and Ghana, health profiles which are a key input into the observatory have been developed. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania, the process of developing the health profiles is at an early stage.
WHO’s support for establishment of NHOs includes capacity building on data quality assessment and on analysis, and synthesis of health data from different sources to facilitate production of quality health information for the observatory. This also includes advocacy and provision of technical support for strengthening systems to ensure the availability and quality of data, including development of tools and standards, promotion of national governance and oversight mechanism for health information system, strengthening the national level institutional capacity for collection and analysis of health data, participation in and promotion of the Health Data collaborative for partner engagement and alignment around national priorities for strengthening health information system, and eHealth.
The Regional office also runs the African Health Observatory (AHO) which was established in 2011 following recommendations of the 2008 Ouagadougou and Algiers declarations that were later endorsed by the WHO RC58 and RC59. AHO’s core function is the assessment of progress and performance of priority indicators for the Region, including UHC and health-SDGs. Key components of the AHO are a Web portal, the AFRO Data Warehouse (ADW), the regional atlas which presents trends in health situation in the region, and a networking platform. Currently, the AHO is being redeveloped and updated to meet the current regional and global demand for quality health information. The “new-look “of the AHO will include regular and continuous updates of the portal with inter-cluster thematic reports based on in-depth thematic analysis and synthesis of health data from different sources.