Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu, the Minister of Health has launched an improved facilitating technology known as the District Health Information Management System (DHIMS2) Dashboard, for programme tracking and improving cause of death statistics. The DHIMS, which was first deployed by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in 2012, had been used for the collection and analysing of routine health service data, and operated in all the 216 districts.
It is currently available to all health facilities and service delivery points. Over 10,000 users from government, quasi-government, private and faith-based facilities currently submit their service reports each month through the DHIMS 2 Dashboard. The system was responsive to the needs of the service and users and could be used to track key performance indicators within the health sector. Mr Agyeman Manu, who launched the facility at the first GHS Senior Managers’ Meeting in Accra on Tuesday, appreciated the hard work done by the Team that improved upon the DHIMS.
He said the improved facility was important for accurate data, particularly on death, which was crucial for population planning and estimation, accountability, and evidenced-based decision making for the health sector. He called for effective supervision of the entire process, to ensure that health workers and professionals impute data accurately and timely to ensure the achievement of the expected objectives of the DHIMS. The Health Minister used the opportunity to officially introduce himself to the Ministry’s stakeholders and health care professionals. He pledged his commitment to sustain the collaboration that had existed between their institutions over the years, to ensure quality health care delivery. He also presented his position outcomes as the new sector Minister, which included ensuring equitable and affordable access to health care, staff motivation and client satisfaction, and appealed to the health partners for support in achieving the expected results. He promised to make use of his training background as an accountant to look for the needed funding to facilitate the work of the health sector for growth.
Mr Agyeman Manu said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had already demonstrated his commitment to improving access to health healthcare. The Health Minister said President Akufo-Addo at the weekend charged the Minister of Finance Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, to immediately look for money to reimburse all service providers of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and sustain such payments monthly, to save the system from collapsing. Dr Anthony Nsia Asare, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), said the meeting would discuss among other things, the performance of the health sector in the previous year and strategise on addressing the challenges that confronted it. He said funding remained a major setback to access to quality health care in Ghana, citing the challenges currently confronting the NIHS as worrying, and appealed to the ministry to quickly intervene to address the “panic” situation.
The GHS he said was currently consulting with the MOH to engage Part-time health professionals at the Regional health facilities, strengthen the use of Information and Communications Technology and its governance. Introduce Tele-medicine and mobile health via the use of phones and connect the Community Health Care Planning and Services (CHPS) programmes to health Centres and teaching hospitals. There was a joint presentation on the highlights of the DHIMS2 Dashboard and cause of death statistics by Mr Dominic K. Atweam, the Head of the Policy Planning Monitoring and Evaluation of the Centre for Health Information Management (CHIM), and Dr Samuel Buabeng also of the same Unit. They explained that all health facilities collect service data from the community level and impute into the DHIMS2 online daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly per given schedules. The benefits of the DHIMS, they said included the reliance on local data rather than international estimates and create a platform for information exchange.