An Information Retrieval System for Health Care Services in Somalia: A Strategy for Implementation

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Addis Ababa University


Somalia has been characterized by a complex emergency situation since the end of the 1980s. Shortly before the former president was ousted out of power, with the disintegration of the country in 1991, the government collapsed , and various clans took charge of the different parts of the country. In general, Somalia has no viable information systems in all fields of economic development, and serious security problems have made these difficult, if not impossible. In the absence of centralised government and the present security situation, it was not possible to cover the whole country, therefore, this study was conducted in the Northwest zone of the country. The North-West Zone of Somalia (Somaliland) has been in reconstruction and development phase since 1993. A local administration was established, and at the time this study was carried out, security problems were less serious than in many of the other parts of Somalia. With the support of international relief agencies the central health authority was re-established and the basic health services were restored. Today, the management, of these services are hampered by the lack of reliable , timely and relevant information. The status of the health of the people in the zone is assessed on the basis of scanty information which has been routinely collected from health facilities and special surveys. Although, there were a lot of improvements in the collection of basic health data, yet it was difficult, if not impossible , to , analyze and calculate reliable indicators from the available data and provide ways of measuring the health needs of the people and the impact of health care services. The scope of this study was to examine the current health information system with the view to come up with suggestions and recommendations of the possible ways by which the system can be improved for better services.



Information Retrieval System for Health Care Services