Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi will tomorrow, 3 November formally launch a new system dealing with health information and data in South Africa. Currently, the health sector is plagued by data inconsistencies around key issues such as maternal and infant mortality, HIV and AIDS and TB as well as non-communicable diseases thus leading to inadequate allocation of resources to these causes of death in the country.
In October 2010, the National Department of Health established a Health Data Advisory and Co-ordinating Committee and gave it mandate to improve the quality and integrity of health outcome data, establish consensus on indicator values and identify reliable data sources to be used by the country in future. This committee consists of eminent South African experts from the HSRC, MRC, School of Actuarial Sciences at UCT, Wits School of Public Health, Financial and Fiscal Commission and Board of Healthcare Funders.
Since taking over as health minister, Motsolaedi has stressed the need for reliability and consistency in data gathering as this is very important when planning. In the area of maternal and infant mortality for instance, there is competing and contradictory data around how many women exactly die in South Africa while giving birth. The same challenge applies equally in areas such as non-communicable diseases.
Members of the media are invited to the launch of the new system scheduled to take place as follows:
Date: 3 November 2011
Time: At 10:30
Venue: Cape Sun Hotel, Strand Street, Cape Town