Paucity of health data is an issue that Nigeria is yet to fully resolve. Health data of good quality is essential to put adequate health systems and structures in place. It also helps to plan and develop health policies that are beneficial to all. In cases of public health emergencies, accurate health data is needed. Accurate health data is needed to know where health services are defecting so as to improve these services. It is also needed for proper monitoring, evaluation and other vital aspects of healthcare.
However, paucity of health data has caused obstacles and barriers to development in the health sector. Even public health researchers complain of not having access to vital health data and in cases where they do, it’s either inaccurate or outdated. The dearth of data is a real threat to the country achieving universal health coverage and cost effective healthcare. Establishing a health data repository is an important benchmark for growth in Nigeria’s healthcare system and there’s a need for the health sector to work on it. A Multi-Source Data Analytics and Triangulation (MSDAT) platform was developed as a solution to this problem. While the platform is still in the development stages, some stakeholders already make use of it. Advocating for open and accurate health data is important for targeted reforms to take place in the health sector.
In an age where technology has influenced a lot of sectors and development, why is the health sector still lagging behind as regards database? Why is there still paucity of health data in Nigeria?