The Nigerian government on Monday launched the Health Facilities Registry, an initiative that documents all health facilities across Nigeria.
The Nigerian minister of health, Professor Isaac Adewole, while launching the registry in Abuja, said it would give a comprehensive list of all health facilities in Nigeria.
He noted that the National HFR would permit each state and FCT to carry out real – time updating and management of the list of health facilities within its jurisdiction.
“The HFR is an electronic information system that will allow the general public to have access to up-to-date information on health facilities as contained in the Master Facility List (MFL). A Master Health Facility List (MFL) is a complete listing of all the health facilities in a country with information on the signature and service domain elements. The signature domain provides information on the health facility by location and unique identifier, while the service domain elements indicate the kind of services that are provided by the health facility. The Health Facility Registry (HFR) will permit each State of the Federation and the FCT to carry out constant management of the list of health facilities within its jurisdiction”, Prof Adewole said.
He said in the last two years, the Nigerian government has been on a drive to increase access to health and wellbeing of Nigerians which the Health Facility Registry would address.
“This benevolent gesture by MEASURE Evaluation/ Palladium has provided an opportunity to have an up-to-date comprehensive list of health facilities in the country. Many stakeholders require a comprehensive list of health facilities for health management information systems (HMIS), disease surveillance, and supply chain management. They are also needed by donors planning coverage of interventions, and by researchers assessing heath system performance. Often, these stakeholders create and maintain their own lists of health facilities because an MFL does not exist or is not easily accessible. Thus, having one MFL that can be accessed throughout the national HMIS environment will lead to greater efficiency, facilitate exchange of health information (through the adoption of common data standards for facilities), and support monitoring of infrastructure and services across the health system”, he explained.
The minister also said that as part of government’s efforts to avoid duplication of databases by government Agencies in the country, the HFR would come in handy.
“That is why this government, and my Ministry in particular, is happy with the development of this Master Facility List that will ensure the pooling of resources to reduce duplication of efforts and increase efficiency in the healthcare system in the country. I therefore wish to appreciate the USAID-funded Measure Evaluation/Palladium for expanding the scope of the MFL development to include its interoperability with the National Health Management Information System (NHMIS) platform. It is also very cheering to note that the Global Fund has equally made provisions for the interoperability of the MFL/HFR with the NHMIS”.
Speaking on behalf of the founders of the project, the USAID, the Health Management Information System Manager, Mr. Lawrence Ogbokor, said the HFR is part of the total package by the US government to improve the health of Nigerians.
He said that funding the project was part of the US government’s comprehensive health care package to Nigeria, aimed at improving lives.
While giving an overview of the Health Facility Registry, Mr. Bolaji Oladejo, says the project has been rolled out in Abia and Niger states and that other states would begin soon.
He added that the last health facility registration in Nigeria was done in 2011 and that the latest edition which can be accessed on www.hfr.health.gov.ng is an upgrade and has more accurate information.