The Ministry of Health (MoH) has launched the National Health Monitoring and Evaluation Plan and Data Management Policies, aimed at strengthening health systems.
Speaking at the launch yesterday, MoH deputy permanent secretary Shenaaz El-Halabi said the National Health Policy underscored the importance of health information and data management in strengthening the health system in Botswana.
“The Ministry of Health is committed to working with its stakeholders towards meeting the health needs of the nation, through quality services provision that is evidence based. With significant challenges in the trends of both communicable and non-communicable disease burdens in the country, coupled with increasing health needs, the data polices will help us establish mechanisms to keep track of all necessary data,” she said.
She however pointed out that the MoH was aware that the steps towards achieving the population health goals were likely to be challenging, since the run up to the Millennium Development Goals required accelerated scale-up of health interventions, to realise the desired population health impact. El-Halabi added that there was need for the development of an integrated monitoring and evaluation framework that recognised the importance of data management as an integral system in order to measure the impact of these interventions. She said the policies would provide a roadmap through which they could improve reporting and data quality.
The monitoring and evaluation plan outlines 33 specific priority national indicators that were based on the six pillars of a health system namely, health Service, Health Work Force, Health Information, Supply Chain Management, Health Financing and Leadership and Governance.
“The data management policy is a guiding tool in areas such as data security, confidentiality, data use and sharing, data analysis and accessibility just to mention a few. These issues have raised major debates around the world. As implementation evolves, we will continue to monitor and provide feedback through other existing forum such as Botswana Health Partner’s Forum,” she added.
El-Halabi also said Botswana had made impressive strides in the monitoring and evaluation of health programmes. She noted that key health interventions linked to priority areas such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and child health continued to register progress. She however said despite signs of progress, more could still be done.
She urged different health stakeholders in the health sector to work with government.