Health infrastructural challenges to health management information systems in Edo State, South-South, Nigeria
Aim: This study aims to assess health management information systems at the primary health care facilities in Edo State to help identify gaps in performance especially as regards the health workers’ ability to practice and use the health data generated at their Primary Health Care centres.
Methods: A health facility based qualitative survey was done involving focus group discussion, in depth/key informant interviews and an observational checklist assessment of the health facilities. Both questionnaires were structured in line with study objectives. The notes and recordings were transcribed using thematic analysis to identify recurrent themes of barriers to the practice and use of data collection.
Results: Thirty-five PHC health facilities were assessed for availability and functionality of health infrastructure. None of the health facilities had internet connectivity and budget specific for NHMIS, 2(5.7%) had stand by generating sets only 0.06 of the total (2.9%) were functional, 6(17.1%) had desk, chairs for data entry/NHMIS only 0.3 of the total (5.7%) were functional and 26(74.3%) of health facilities had focal persons handling data, all (100%) were functional. Only 2 (5.7%) of the health centres surveyed were capable of operating the NHMIS activities while 33 (94.3%) were not capable.
Conclusion: The study showed a huge gap in the health infrastructure necessary to facilitate practice and utilization of the NHMIS thus weak operational capacity of the PHC-NHMIS. The government at all levels should ensure collective effort and political will to improve the PHCNHMIS in Edo State through training and training courses and placement of appropriate data staff across the PHCs.
Key words: Data, Edo State, Health workers, Health infrastructure, Health Management
Information Systems, Primary Health Care centres.