Tasked with the challenge of providing public health services for the nation’s 19 million people, Cameroon’s Ministry of Public Health (MoH) had been seeking ways to strengthen its ability to monitor and track health care across the country.
To its credit, MoH was collecting a great deal of health data, across many districts and over multiple time periods. But how best to put it all together, to convert data into evidence and to produce a set of health maps useful for ministry officials in charge of planning and policymaking?
MoH approached Cameroon’s National Institute of Statistics (INS) for help in generating a set of health maps that could display data on strategic health indicators at the district level. In response, INS recommended that DevInfo would be the ideal platform for achieving these objectives.
With MoH’s endorsement, INS officials proceeded to prepare a DevInfo database containing pre-existing data on key health indicators, as well as fresh data sourced from the monthly activity reports submitted by local health facilities to MoH. These health indicators were intentionally selected to match those outlined in the nation’s strategic health sector plan.
The preliminary version of the database, dubbed Carte Sanitaire (“Health maps”) by INS, contains data on strategic health indicators for seven health districts in Cameroon. Efforts are underway to augment the database with additional data sourced from monthly activity reports, surveys, and population studies, to cover all the districts of Cameroon. INS plans to officially release the database to MoH by mid-2011, so the data – and the health maps – can be analyzed by MoH officials and development partners to assist with planning and policymaking.
Data making a difference.
For more information, please contact Ngongang Wandji Leandre, Head of the Management Unit of Networks and Data Banks, Cameroon National Institute of Statistics, email@example.com.