By Abujah Racheal
Abuja – The Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) on Tuesday lunched the Nigeria Health Workforce Country Profile 2018 and handed over the National Health Workforce Registry (NHWR) platform.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said at the launch in Abuja that government
had been working toward obtaining accurate data on existing health workforce in the country to facilitate human resource for health planning and thereby deliver efficient, effective and high quality health services to citizens.
Ehanire said that the effort was part of the nation’s response to World Health Organisation (WHO’s) call to all nations of the world to strive toward the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the implementation of the Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health (GSHRH) 2030.
He added that “the Global Strategy adopted by the 69th World Health Assembly in May 2016 under Resolution WHA69.19 aims to ensure universal acceptability, coverage and quality of health workforces within strengthened health system (World Health Assembly 2016).
“This can be achieved through adequate investment and implementation of effective policy at national, regional and global levels, translated into Global Milestones to be achieved by 2020 and 2030.
“This implies that all countries are making progress on Health Workforce Registries to track health workforce stock, education, distribution, flows, demand, capacity and remuneration,” he said.
The minister said that the NHWR operational guidelines 2015 amendment Section 3.2.5 mandates the establishment of a web-enabled registry which shall serve as the national platform for accurate and timely information on health workforce in the country .
He explained that the registry was a single and authoritative source of authenticated and validated health workforce information in the country, which would provide up-to-date information on all health workers under the employment of national and sub-national entities in both public and private sectors of the national health system.
“This registry links the health workers to administrative units and facilities.
The architecture of the NHWR aligns with those of other health information systems in the country such as the District Health Information System (DHIS2).
“It will be managed by the FMoH with all submitting entities having access to health workforce information pertaining to them only. The information on the Registry will then be collected based on 10 Minimum Data Sets (MDS),” he said.
According to him, the FMOH developed the Nigeria Health Workforce Profile (NHWP) 2018 and the National Health Workforce Registry (NHWR) platform with support from WHO and currently, data from 10 states across Nigeria have been uploaded into the Registry which will be handed over today.
He said it was expected that data from the 36 states of the federation and the FCT would be fed into the platform to make it a complete National Health Workforce Registry.
He, however, said that there was need to strengthen collaborations across board, especially within the three tiers of government in all the states and FCT to fully come together to develop a single, unified NHWR.
Ehanire commended the development partners for their support in different areas toward ensuring stronger human resources for health.
He said “I particularly commend WHO, USAID, Global Affairs Canada, Women for Health (W4H), MNCH2, Global Fund – RSSH through Management Sciences for Health, JICA, European Union for their efforts.”
The minister, however, solicited for more support from other partners for the states that were yet to commence work toward the establishment of their State Health Workforce Registries.
He said that states like Bayelsa, Benue, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Enugu, Lagos, Rivers, Taraba and FCT are set to feed their data into the National Registry.
Dr Martin Osubor, the Representative of the Canadian High Commission, highlighted the usefulness of the profile and hope to see how this would help the Nigerian government to plan and mobilise resources for the sector.
He said “this document will not only improve our understanding of our health workforce’s stock, characteristics and performance, it will also further help to generate insights into gaps and possibilities for health strengthening
“The document will assist policy and decision makers at all levels to develop appropriate strategies to ensure that the correct number of professionals are trained, equitably distributed and retained toward achieving UHC in the country.”