Guinea

MEASURE Evaluation, with support from the United States Global Development Lab, has worked in Guinea to create a health information system (HIS) and strengthen health information management, including fostering a culture of data use for decision making.

The West African country of Guinea borders Guinea-Bissau and Senegal to the north, Mali to the north and northeast, Côte d’Ivoire to the east, and Liberia and Sierra Leone to the south. Approximately two-thirds of the country’s 12.6 million people are under the age of 24.[1] Guinea’s population is increasing rapidly, as people live longer and the birthrate remains high.

The health issues in Guinea arise chiefly from communicable diseases, with malaria and lower respiratory infections the top two causes of death.[2] The nearly universal practice of female genital cutting continues to contribute to high infant and maternal mortality rates, with a maternal mortality rate of 679 per 100,000 mothers and under-five deaths of 94 per 1,000 children.[3]

In 2014, a serious outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (Ebola) hit Guinea, resulting in almost 4,000 cases and 2,500 deaths—the highest death rate (66%) from Ebola in West Africa. Disruptions caused by the outbreak were felt throughout the healthcare system, leading to urgent calls for investment to strengthen the weak healthcare infrastructure. The urgency of this need led to a heightened awareness of the system’s shortcomings and accelerated a search for appropriate digital platforms for health data. This search sought electronic and mobile data systems, recognizing the potential of information and communication technologies to contribute to the restoration and long-term resilience of the health system.

In the aftermath, since 2015, MEASURE Evaluation, with support from the United States Global Development Lab, has worked to create a health information system (HIS) and strengthen health information management, including fostering a culture of data use for decision making. In a short time, Guinea has made great strides. Top-level support and collaboration among implementing partners resulted in the national rollout of an electronic information system in less than one year. An essential component of health management information system (HMIS) strengthening is fostering systematic and strategic engagement with government ministries and development partners, along with consultation and support for the HIS technical working group that was established.

MEASURE Evaluation provides technical and logistical support to the Guinea Ministry of Health to:

  • Build the HMIS foundation of data integration and warehousing
  • Strengthen procedures and data quality assurance for the collection and management of health data at all levels—through mentoring, supportive supervision, and data verification
  • Integrate data to improve the environment for data-informed decision making
  • Encourage data demand and use elements as part of HMIS policies and guidelines, training, and data packaging so that information products meet the needs of decision makers

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