NIGERIA – Save the Children International Nigeria (SCI), through the INSPIRING Project, has donated the District Health Information Software 2 (DHIS2) Dashboard App, and 30 internet tablets to the Lagos State Health Service Commission.

The Dashboard App, valued at N2.5 million (US$5,636), and the internet cables, valued at N5.6 million (US$12,625) will go towards enabling public health secondary health facilities in Lagos by utilising reported health data for informed decisions.

In line with the donation made possible with the support of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), 30 health workers and trainers have been trained on the judicious use of the dashboard.

The DHIS2 is an open-source, web-based software used as a health management information system tool for collecting, analyzing, visualizing, and sharing data.

The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Health Service Commission, Dr Benjamin Eniayewun, described the development as a paradigm shift, even as he noted that it would go a long way in enhancing correct information accessibility and interpretation in decision making by the Health Management Information System, HMIS, in the state.

“We all know the importance of timely data and correct information in decision making and now we are trying to make life better,” Eniayewun said.

“Our role is to identify those who are most adept with this technology and then train others, and we are sure that this will happen seamlessly. What we are after is sustainability, in one or two years down the line we are looking for improvement and sustainable progress.”

Eniayewun said that this is a paradigm shift in how hospitals will be capturing and handling data and rendering it for information gathering.

“Before now, there were issues with data collation, most of which was being done manually, but with this training and introduction of DHIS tablets, I believe it is a big step towards rendering timely, accurate, and very useful data and this will be the beginning for Nigeria,” he said.

He said the technology was being embraced to make the work easier. Noting the in-built safety measures in the dashboard, he said the manipulation of data was not possible.

“The whole idea of the technology is to prevent manipulation and that is why the platform is there. If any garbage is put in, the system will flag it, if the right result is not there the health care centre that is concerned will be flagged. There are ways to check and cross-check the data,” he added.

“Data is not just data. The idea is to gather the right data and generate accurate information that can be used for planning and decision-making. The essence is to gather the right quality information.”

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