How Healthy Are We?

Nazimun Nessa | Dhaka Tribune | March 29, 2017

We’ve come a long way in improving our health information systems

Reliable data on health is an essential part of a comprehensive health information system, which is central to evidence-informed, responsive decision-making for better public health program. A well-functioning health information system also helps policy-makers and program managers to monitor population health and plan interventions accordingly.

In line with the vision of a Digital Bangladesh, one of the more significant changes that have happened in our health sector is transforming paper-based health reporting into an electronic health information system, along with initiating a medical record system through the Open MRS software. Both initiatives are in effect at government-run health facilities under the supervision of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in collaboration with various development partners such as the EU iccdr,b, UNICEF, among others.

A multi-structured health system consists of the public and private sector, and non-profit; NGO-run health facilities are often a barrier to getting reliable data on the health of the population. Data quality issue, duplication, and redundancy of data are also areas of concern. That’s why DGHS has established a national data warehouse, where electronic data from various health service providers and health programs can be better coordinated...