Juba 23 November, 2017: As a commitment to providing quality, affordable, effective and efficient health services at all levels, the Ministry of Health with support from WHO and other health partners, has embarked on harmonizing health indicators for maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) and ascertaining health information data quality across the states and counties in South Sudan.
To provide effective, efficient and timely comprehensive information for informed decision making, WHO in partnership with the Ministry of Health and partners, reviewed and validated data sets, including data collection and reporting tools of the Health Management Information System. This is aimed at ensuring availability of reliable information on selected maternal health service delivery indicators at all administrative levels and; to highlight the role of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) in the integration of Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance Response (MPDSR) and civil birth registration and vital statistics (CRVS) in the existing system.
Since 2011, WHO with funding from the Government of Canada supported the improvement of the maternal health indicators through the comprehensive emergency obstetric care in six hospitals (Aweil, Bor, Kuajok, Torit, Wau and Yambio) in South Sudan. A number of achievements have been registered including improved reporting from the project sites, increase in the number of women and newborns receiving care (more than 90 557 beneficiaries during the project period). Since the inception of the Project there have been a total of 46 117 women delivering in the 6 sites and over 56 403 women and newborns receiving emergency care.
Despite these achievements, the information collected via the District Health Information Software (DHIS) system from the six-major hospital requires some improvements. The key challenges include low reporting from non-project sites and inadequate data quality for maternal health indicators especially antenatal care (ANC), post-natal Care and family planning.
‘High quality data is critical for decision making, effective planning and management of health services across all health programs in the country, said Dr Suzie Paul, Technical Officer for Maternal and Child Health, speaking on behalf of Mr Evans Liyosi, WHO Country Representative a.i. and pledged WHO’s continued commitment to work with MoH and other health partners to enhance delivery of health services in South Sudan.
“There is a growing need for re-engineering of a robust national integrated health management information system that will guarantee quality reporting in the health sector as we transition from DHIS 1.4 to DHIS 2. The Ministry of Health is collaborating with all its partners in health to develop a system that will be responsive to the needs of all the programs for their reporting requirements and program performance monitoring. The Ministry is committed to this development and will continue to engage all stake-holders to support this initiative”, Dr Richard Lino Lako, Director General Policy, Planning, Research and Budgeting, Ministry of Health, South Sudan reiterated.
This review exercise is meant to help in generating reliable maternal health indicators across all counties and major hospitals. It will also encourage completeness of reporting through availing of standardized data collection tools and documentation of community based maternal health interventions including maternal death surveillance for the Boma Health Initiative. The workshop was also a forum for reviewing and validating data for all health programs for the HMIS Report -2016 to pave way for its finalization.
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