The Association of Health Records Practitioners of Nigeria (AHRPN) has said over 60% of persons employed to handle data in hospitals and other health institutions in the country are not qualified to do so.
President of the association Barrister Okereke Jerry Nwani stated this during the national health information management system conference in Abuja.
It was organised by the association in collaboration with the Health Records Officers Registration Board Nigeria (HRORBN) and Cademy Limited.
He said, “Data collection is not just copying out information. There are other things like data classification; knowing what to classify, how to classify it, and identifying the homogeneity.
“So except you are trained as a practitioner, you might not have the details to do the right thing. You cannot put a square peg in a round hole, it cannot stand. So we need core professionals for data collection and management in the country.”
Registrar of the Health Records Officers Registration Board of Nigeria, Alhaji Mohammed Ibrahim Mami, said there was data on health in the country contrary to popular belief. However, he said the gap lay in the planning and use of data.
He said most data being emphasised in the country are those collected from primary healthcare centres with the support of development partners, noting that data from secondary and tertiary care, have not been properly captured.
“So we need a platform where all these data can be captured and utilized so that we can use it for planning and budgeting of the healthcare system in Nigeria,” he said.
Dr Mami said the Health Information Management Strategic Framework (HIMSF) 2021 – 2025 has been developed in a context marked by a national demand for electronic health records, and the trend of the pandemic to health care delivery.
Minister of State for Health Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora said the country could not effectively go into a post –COVID-19 era without addressing the challenges of quality data.
Represented by Dr Ngozi Azodoh, Director Health Planning Research and Statistics of the Federal Ministry of Health, he said producing timely data has become an emergency in the COVID-19 era and that all hands must be on deck to ensure implementation of the National Health Information System Policy (NHISP) and strategic plan.