By Asmau Ahmad
The Federal Ministry of Health with support of the USAID-funded MEASURE Evaluation and Palladium has inaugurated the Health Facility Registry of Nigeria (HFR) to enhance the quality of healthcare services in the country.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole who inaugurated the system in Abuja, said that HFR was an electronic information system that would allow the general public to have access to up-to-date information on health facilities as contained in the Master Facility List (MFL).
He said that a master health facility list was a complete listing of all the health facilities in a country with information on the signature and service domain elements.
He said that the signature domain provides information on the health facility by location and unique identifier, while the service domain elements indicate the kind of services provided by the health facility.
Adewole said that HFR would permit each state and the Federal Capital Territory to carry out constant management of the list of health facilities within its jurisdiction.
According to the minister, the Master Facility List will support government to determine accurate data on number of health facilities in the country and their status.
He said that the registry would be of great interest to researchers and partners, stressing that the data to be generated from the registry would improve health sector in the country.
He noted the data generation was one of the important components in repositioning the healthcare sector in the country.
The minister said that in recent past, government had worked actively on improving the sector by developing policies, strategic plans, and funding scheme, which is the basic health care provision fund.
“For us critically, there are three components of healthcare structure which includes the infrastructure, human resources, and data and without data nothing is happening; this is why this is important.
“When this system is fully developed, we will be able to know how many healthcare facilities we have, how many of them are actually functional,’’ he said.
The minister said that the structures remained a mere building because there were no human resources that make them work and function as health facilities.
“As at the last count, we have about 30,000 healthcare facilities but only 20 per cent of the facilities are working in the country; that is what leads us to revitalisation of 10,000 Primary Health Care Centres across the country.
“If this system became fully functional, it will tell us which PHC was functional and even give us the number of people at the facility, the doctors, nurses and pharmacist at a facility for adequate audit,’’ he said.
The minister said that the real success of the initiative was when the state’s role over and I am excited that Niger and Abia kick starting it; we need to go round for 36 states and FCT.
He said that the USAID, through Measure Evaluation Palladium, recently supported Phase A of the roll-out of the master facility list and health facility registry in Abia and Niger States as a pilot test.
Mr Duke Ogbokor representative of USAID Mission Director urge the Federal Government to ensure continues capacity building on the use, maintenance of the registry.