WHO Director-General: systems for the registration of births, deaths, and cause of deaths "badly needed"
30 August 2011
The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan, has said that information systems for the registration of births, deaths, and cause of deaths are "badly needed". In her address to African Member States entitled "Despite financial constraints, health commands support at the top of the international agenda", she relayed that recommendations of the United Nations Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health have given "high priority to the establishment of badly needed information systems for the registration of births, deaths and cause of deaths." She said that 28 African countries had introduced Maternal Death Reviews, and four countries have made maternal death a notifiable event within 48 hours.
Moreover, Dr Chan said that traditional donor countries are emphasizing value for money and are increasingly demanding that development assistance brings measurable results. Well-functioning national health information systems, which the Health Metrics Network supports, are critical to measuring progress in countries on a range of health goals and will help show whether investments were fruitful or not.
Dr Chan also mentioned the report and investment case of the Harmonization for Health in Africa initiative for strengthening health systems which says that high quality reliable information can "exponentially improve the performance of the health system it supports".