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Conference on Evidence-based Information Systems for Health

Sana'a, June 18-19, 2006
Movenpick Hotel, Sana’a, June 18 - 19, 2006

General purpose:
  • To demonstrate the importance of data at national, governorate and district levels, to present results of MoPHP, USAID and others’ work on health information and the development and utilization of state of the art tools and applications for analysis and decision-making.
  • To share lessons learned from piloting improved data collection and reporting.

Press release

Participants: 120

Press Release

Bilquis, statistician in the Amran Health Office, is asked by her DG to provide information on names and locations of district facilities that provide maternal and child health services, family planning and immunization services. He also wants to know where emergency obstetric services are provided so that he can plan and budget for additional staff, centers and equipment in areas of high populations that are not currently served. He will need this data to justify his plan and his request for funding to the Ministry of Public Health and Population. In the past, lack of reliable health information for planning and decision making has made it difficult for planners at the national, governorate and district levels to answer such questions.

In 1998 the Ministry of Public Health and Population launched the Health Reform Strategy in an effort to address the numerous challenges facing Yemen’s health system. Some of the most difficult included Yemen’s high birth rate, high infant and maternal mortality rates, lack of qualified health workers, especially females, low immunization coverage, poorly equipped health facilities, lack of drugs, and an overall lack of services, notably in rural areas.  The new strategy promoted decentralized planning, decision making and financial management, a district health system approach, community co-management of local health systems and a decentralized, outcomes-based management system. Data to support health reform at the central and governorate/district levels was inconsistent and difficult to access.  No comprehensive central health information system existed.

In 2004/2005, USAID/Yemen collaborated with the Ministry of Public Health and Population and Governorate Health Offices in conducting a comprehensive health facility survey of all public and private functioning facilities in the five USAID supported governorates. The Ministry received funding from the Dutch, EC and WHO to conduct the survey nationwide.   Data was collected on types of services provided, condition of the facilities and their equipment, staffing, drug availability would help to answer questions about the health system and for the first time establish a reliable database at the national, governorate and district levels.

Using GPS and digital cameras the survey team captured the precise geographic locations of each facility and a visual record of the conditions of buildings and equipment at the time of the survey. The USAID-funded Partners for Health Reformplus project assisted the MoPHP to develop simple mapping tools using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software to assure that the survey results became easily usable for evidence-based analyses by district and governorate and national level health planners.

To disseminate survey results, tools and applications as well as other advances in data collection and analysis, the Ministry of Public Health and Population, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Bank sponsored a two day conference entitled, “Evidence-based Information Systems for Health.”  The conference included the DGs for Health, statisticians and planners from the 21 governorates, MoPHP, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Telecommunications and Information, Ministry of Planning, the Social Fund, Central Statistics Organization, National Authority for Land Parcels, Surveys and Planning (formerly the Survey Authority), and the donor community. Although the conference focused on results of pilots and studies conducted to improve the functioning of the health system, other organizations were invited to present their work on information systems and to discuss how to apply the tools developed for health to other sectors.


Day 1 - Sunday, June 18, 2006

Time Topic Organization Presenter
8:00 - 8:30 Registration
8:30 - 8:50 Welcome – remarks from Minister of Health
Importance of reliable data and collaboration with other ministries and organizations
MoPH&P Dr. Rasae
Mr. Michael Sarhan
8:50 - 9:15 Overview of HMIS – what is it, how can we use it. MoPHP Dr. Ashwal
9:15 - 9:45 State of the Art GIS applications for improving health care at national and governorate levels PHRplus Mr. Mark Landry
9:45 - 10:00 USAID Director Minister of Health – remarks
Deputy Minister – Planning - remarks
USAID/Yemen Mr. Michael Sarhan
Dr. Kholaidi,
Deputy Minister
10:00 - 10:30 Break
10:30 - 11:30 Panel - Recent advances in GIS and applications CSO
Survey Authority
10 minutes each
11:30 - 11:45 Q&A to the panel (from audience)   Dr. Jamal Nasher,
11:45 - 12:10 Facility-based information – results and lessons learned from the pilot in Amran PHRplus Dr. Hadi Al Hamzi
12:10 - 12:30 Health Facility Survey – General Overview and Results at National Level (example from a governorate) MoPHP Mr. Adel El Samae
12:30 - 1:00 New Technologies – Tools & Applications
Applicability to other sectors
Mr. Mark Landry
1:00 - 2:00 Coordination and dissemination of information – how important is it at the national level? And how to do it?   MOPIC MoPHP Mr. Hashem Awnallah
Mr. Tarek Hebshi
2:15 - 2:30 Morning session wrap-up MoPHP Dr. Jamal Nasher
2:30 - 3:30 Lunch
Optional session – after lunch
3:30 - 4:30 Demonstration of GIS Tools and Applications


Mr. Mark Landry
Mr. Abdelkader Neuman

Day 2 - Monday, June 19, 2006

Time Topic Organization Presenter
8:00 - 8:30 Registration
8:30 - 8:50 Objectives for Day 2 MoPHP Dr. Jamal Nasher
8:50 - 10:00 National Health Accounts – What are they?
How can they inform health policy? – Results from 2003
MoPHP Mr. Jamal Nasher
Mr. Faisal Al Gohaly
10:00 - 10:20 Census data – its importance to different types of analyses CSO Dr. Amin
10:30 - 11:00 Break
11:00 - 11:30 Routine immunization – data collection and reporting EPI & PHRplus
Mr. Ibrahim
11:30 - 12:00 District level data collection and reporting MoPHP, PHRplus, District Health Office Mansour Al Lozy, Fawzia and someone from district
12:00 - 12:15 Video – Data for Better Health PHRplus Mrs. Cheri Rassas
12:15 - 1:00 Panel Discussion: Gap in data collection and Data Quality   MoPHP
Ms. Radhia Farah
Mohamed Bariah
Mr. Jalal Yacoub
1:00 - 1:30 Health Management Information System – integrating and applying lessons learned to new HMIS strategy – Next steps MoPHP
Mr. Attar Ezzat
1:30 - 1:45 Wrap-up MoPHP Dr. Jamal Nasher
1:45 - 2:45 Lunch
Optional Session after lunch
2:45 - 3:45 MapObject GIS tools for governorates and districts


Mr. Abdelkader Neuman