Information on health services essential for humanitarian response in Borno State, Nigeria

November 2016

WHO is supporting the Borno State Ministry of Health to roll out an online system that collects important information about health services.

Dr Haruna Mshelia, the Commissioner for Borno State Ministry of Health addressing participants during  Health resources and services availability mapping system training in Maiduguri
WHO/P Ajello

Health Resources Availability Monitoring System (HeRAMS)

This system, known as Health Resources Availability Monitoring System (HeRAMS), aims to improve the collection, collation and analysis of information on the availability of health resources and services in humanitarian emergencies.

Since the rollout exercise, WHO has trained 89 participants and deployed them to 360 health facilities to collect data in 23 local government areas.

The Borno State Ministry of Health and health sector partners agree on the critical need for comprehensive understanding of available health resources following this long-term crisis that has left many health facilities destroyed and damaged.

"The HeRAMS process will enhance quality data collection that is important for the State Ministry of Health to make informed decisions in the ongoing response in a state where more than 340 health facilities have been damaged or destroyed, while others have been left without medicines, equipment, basic amenities or health workers," says Dr Haruna Mshelia, Commissioner for Borno State Ministry of Health.

"This assessment will go a long way in informing the Ministry, WHO and partners on critical gaps that need to be urgently addressed," added Dr Mshelia.

"This assessment will go a long way in informing the Ministry, WHO and partners on critical gaps that need to be urgently addressed."

Dr Haruna Mshelia,
Commissioner for Borno State Ministry of Health

HeRAMS is a rapid online system used for monitoring the availability of health facilities, services and resources in emergencies. Key information that is assessed through HeRAMS includes the health service’s functionality status, accessibility, health infrastructure, human resources, availability of health services, equipment, medicines at primary and secondary care level.

"WHO is currently working with the State Ministry of Health to conduct an initial assessment in all targeted health facilities in 16 local government areas. Health services play a crucial role in saving lives and preventing disease and disability in emergencies and yet a lot of health facilities and services have been affected by the ongoing crisis in Borno State," says Dr Rex Mpazanje, acting WHO Country Representative to Nigeria.

"It is not easy to monitor health services during an emergency and lack of information hampers effective decision-making, resource allocation, mobilization and advocacy for health in emergencies," he says. "WHO encourages provision of health services based on evidence and, as such, we are liaising with the health authorities to provide evidence-based information to inform the ongoing response."

Information from HeRAMS is expected to confirm that less than half the health facilities in Borno State are not functioning and that existing health facilities lack human resources and essential supplies.

The system will also dig deeper into needs and capabilities of the health facilities. For example, whether a health facility has the ability to provide care for specific diseases or mental health conditions. It will also be able to give an overview of how many doctors and nurses are available in Borno state to provide care.

WHO and partners are working to close gaps on service delivery, and provide a more targeted response to the health facilities that are accessible, and the results of HeRAMS will help to guide the response.