Guinea Celebrates a Stronger Health Information System
March 21, 2018
In 2014, an outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in Guinea revealed the shortcomings of the national health information system (SNIS) in terms of strategy, health information and use of that information to respond to health issues.
The Bureau of Strategy and Development (BSD) of the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with technical and financial partners, has since produced a unified strategic plan for 2016–2020 and evaluated it at midpoint to see what progress has been made. That report formed the background for solutions, interventions and recommendations for the country’s 2018 operational plan.
Since 2016, and as part of the strategic health plan, Guinea customized and deployed the DHIS 2 electronic platform to manage and access routine health data nationwide, and trained individuals to use the software and to teach other users to analyze, interpret and link data to improve service provision and to enhance their professional skills and performance. HIS management tools and leadership development strategies support a culture of data-driven decision making, through systematic training support, data review meetings and information bulletins to inform and advocate for needed change. Now, district level managers have the information to make informed decisions.
What has changed? The components of a robust health information system are in place to coordinate programs. All actors know how to achieve and maintain system functions, while ensuring that routine data will prompt a response when health issues arise. Appropriate tools are available to users and stakeholders. The system has enhanced decision making.
This was achieved in fewer than two years, aided by the commitment of Ministry of Health management and staff, regional and district teams on the front lines who are now adept at managing health data, and a network of international NGOs and donors. MEASURE Evaluation—funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)—is proud to have been a part of the Guinean government’s response to reorganize its health information system to serve its citizens.
To celebrate these milestones, a meeting was held in Conakry on March 20, opened by the Deputy Minister of Health and the USAID programs director. Attendees included the USAID health office director, the Minister of Health’s top technical advisor and other officials. All regional directors and many district managers and their data management teams were also present, along with chiefs of party for many implementing partners.
The Minister’s advisor closed the meeting by observing that a strong health information system is crosscutting, not relegated to the BSD, but serves all health programs. As the country celebrates this milestone, it has published posters, case studies and a video outlining what has been done.
To see how these accomplishments have been achieved in Guinea, please visit the MEASURE Evaluation website.