Society for Family Health (SFH) took the lead, through its Global Fund Malaria directorate, by organising the first private hospital management board summit in Nigeria. It was a two day summit, from 13th – 14th July, 2016, drawing participants from 24 state private hospital management boards. The summit aims to close data reporting gaps created by private health facilities across the country, which makes the country’s National Health Information System incomplete and inaccurate. Health decisions are made based on available data information and so the need for complete, accurate and quality data which allows for targeted health planning and programming using evidence informed data.The summit was declared open by the Coordinator National Malaria Eradication Program, Dr. Audu Bala Mohammed, who acknowledged the efforts and resources put into the planning and organization of the summit. He urged participants to come up with strategies that will help improve private health facilities data capturing and reporting in Nigeria. Dr. Bala also expressed government’s interest in coordinating and harnessing private health facilities data for effective health programing.
Participants identified some of the challenges faced by private health facilities in data capturing and reporting as;
• Poor regulation by private hospital management boards
• Lack of trained manpower for data capturing and reporting
• Lack of data reporting tools
• Implementing partners coming with different reporting templates
• Poor M&E coordination at the state and local government levels
After two days of deliberation, the following action points/plans were drawn;
• Advocacy/Sensitization or meetings to engage proprietors of private sector facilities to understand what the government intends to achieve so that the stakeholders can buy into government’s stance on data reporting.
• All state private hospital management boards to maintain a comprehensive and valid database of private health facilities in each state.
• Training of record officers in the private health facilities on use of NHMIS tools.
• Printing and distribution of HMIS tools to Private health facilities by SMoH.
• State private hospital boards to put up regulations to improve reporting.
• Private health facilities renewal of license will be tied to data reporting to achieve 90% reporting rate by 2020.
The summit ended on a high note with all participants pledging to uphold all resolutions agreed and carry along their various health commissioners for implementation. SFH Director for GF Malaria, Dr. Ernest Nwokolo closed the summit by urging all participants to take action and make a difference as they go back to their states. He informed them that SFH is willing to partner, support and follow up on states private hospital boards to achieve 90% reporting rate by 2020.