DAI to Launch USAID Health Information System Program in Haiti

June 27, 2017

Bobby Jefferson DAI is set to begin implementation of the Haiti Strategic Health Information System (HIS) Program. Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the project team will consolidate and integrate Haiti’s at-present disconnected health information assets to create a comprehensive national system.

“Haiti’s digital and paper-based health reporting platforms vary greatly from city to city and village to village,” said Bobby Jefferson, pictured left, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for DAI Global Health. “This makes Haiti highly vulnerable from a health security standpoint, especially considering its challenging history of devastating earthquakes, hurricanes, and contagious disease, including the 2010 cholera outbreak.”

“By creating a single, comprehensive health information system, Haiti will be far better prepared to address its inevitable health crises as well as the daily needs of its 11 million people. This will benefit not just Haiti but its donor partners and the entire Caribbean region.” — Jefferson

The DAI team expects to affirm Haiti’s System d’Information Sanitaire Nationale Unique (SISNU) as the country’s central repository for health information, reporting, and evidence. SISNU has struggled due to low reporting rates, poor data quality and triangulation, and lack of computing infrastructure. The country also faces a dearth of health care professionals.

These shortcomings severely inhibit the health ministry’s ability to plan for and respond to public health needs using reliable, evidence-based information. The DAI team will support the ministry in drafting eHealth policy, addressing information and technical gaps, and encouraging a data-centric culture at national and department levels to enhance performance.

Haiti faces health care challenges beyond its lack of consolidated information. The January 2010 earthquake demolished 50 health centers, part of Haiti’s primary teaching hospital, and the Ministry of Health. Hurricane Matthew in October 2016 further exposed the country’s lack of improved water and sanitation services. According to USAID, roughly 40 percent of the population lacks access to essential health and nutrition services, only 45 percent of children ages 12 to 23 months are fully vaccinated, and 22 percent of children under 5 years old are stunted. The country still heavily relies on international funding to provide Haitians access to health care services.

“Haiti and other developing countries can benefit greatly now and well into the future simply by getting their health information systems in good order,” said Jefferson. “By applying health informatics with discipline, countries such as Haiti will be far better prepared to reap good value from investments in health care planning and delivery.”

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