Tuesday, 8th June 2021: The Ministry of Health in Oyo State has gone digital as all its activities and facilities can be gotten online. This is just as the state government on Monday collaborated with Sustaining Program and Partnership on Reproductive Health Transformation, (SuPPoRT) to validate the mappings of health facilities in the state and equally give the state an opportunity to identify the situation of its health institutions.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Bashir Bello, while flagging off the Oyo Health Facility Map validation at the Secretariat, said that the government is interested in collaborating with partners like 'SuPPoRT initiative' to help improve on what the state is doing in the aspect of Health in the state.
The commissioner who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Muftau Ayoola, said: "This initiative is very important in the sense that one of the pillars of this administration is Health, and we all know that health is wealth. We know we cannot do it alone but to collaborate with partners that are here. So, this SUPPORT initiative is a very big thing, which will be of assistance to the good people of Oyo State.
"If you click Oyo State website, you can easily see the number of facilities that are providing family planning and how the place is being utilised. So, this is a good step that has a long way in improving health facilities in the state. At the same time, the people can make use of the facility in so many programmes; be it TB, malaria or HIV."
Speaking on the essence of the initiative, the Technical Assistant Consultant of SuPPoRT, Mrs Adesola Fanimokun, stated that the well-based map would be of immense benefit to the state government to facilitate improvement in its health sector.
She added that it will also give the people of the state the opportunity to access, even from the comfort of their homes, data and all the health facilities in every local government area and know how equipped they are in the aspect of functionality and other processes.
In her words: "We are here to validate the mappings of health facilities in Oyo State. It is a well-based map such that anybody can have access to the link from the comfort of their homes and offices. You can click on the link and access the Oyo State map. Click on a local government and a particular facility of your interest; the partners who are in that facility, the family method, which the facility offers, and the size of the technical officers and the staff strength of that facility.
"We have donors and partners, international organisations coming into this place. Rather than all of them coming to Ibadan and stay within the centre, when they have access to this map, the state will be able to present this map to them, show them the concentration of partners and they will be able to identify the LGA that does not have partners’ support.
"It will also help the state itself to identify what it has. All the data that we put together on this map are already existing as individual data, but now that they are joined together, it helps the state to know the situation of its health institutions.
"From that map, you can tell how many health facilities the state has; how many PHCs, and by the time you click on any of them, it gives you details. It helps with what the present administration is doing in the area of health. So, this will harm them with the data of each facility or which facility needs more attention or equipment and staffing.”
She further stated that the initiative has been configured in such a way that will assist the state to expand it beyond family planning programme, saying that “We know the government needed it and we supported the government to do it.”
"It is to build on what Nigeria Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) has done; the strategy that NURHI has used, which has been proven to work. So, the aim is to sustain the state government to be sure that they have the power to continue to do it,” She added.
In his remarks, the Director, Planning research and Statistics, Dr. Abass Gbolahan, said the initiative has made the Ministry of Health in Oyo State go digital.
He said, “If you look at what is happening now globally, the whole world is going digital. And we are also looking at a situation whereby we can get information at first hand. So, what this initiative wants to do for us is to harness the data, which we already have in the state. We have the longitude and latitude of most of our facilities but they have assisted us in putting them together to have an information in such a way that if anybody gets into our site and wants any information on health facilities in the state, if you just click on it, you get everything you need.
“Secondly, for partners that are coming to work in Oyo State, we have the existing ones on that site. So, any new partner that comes into the state doesn’t even need to ask us where they want to work. They already know where existing partners are."