WHO in South-East Asia

Strenthening Country Health Information Systems

In many countries health information systems (HIS) are fragmented, unreliable, and incomplete. There is often little data integration and sharing and a lack of clarity of data ownership. The analytical skills among data producers needed to support policy makers are limited and to extract the most use from data there is a strong need for unique identifiers and data standards.

Inadequate legislation or regulations reflect an overall lack of understanding of the true costs and benefits of investments in HIS. Yet information is care: policy makers need to understand and support the direct link between strong HIS and achieving their priority health outcomes.

HIS is not simply a technical issue: it’s also political, multi-sectoral, social, and environmental and calls for a more open culture of information use. A development approach to HIS in South-East Asian countries is sorely needed and requires collaboration with partners at regional and local levels. Implementing the Roadmap for Health Measurement and Accountability can lead to more effective investments leading to better data quality, analysis, and use.

The Roadmap spells out the need to accelerate momentum in HIS strengthening and move away from ad hoc projects. By putting the primary focus on training and retention of HIS professionals, Member States will be able to build solid and sustainable HIS.

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