The District Health Barometer (DHB) has been funded by the National Department of Health (NDoH) since 2011/12 and has earned its reputation as one of Health Systems Trust’s two flagship publications. It is recognised as a one-of-a-kind publication, showcasing the skill of South Africans in developing a well-researched statistical output that improves data information management and reduces burden of disease by strengthening the primary health care domain.
Published annually, the DHB presents comparative data on health-service implementation and performance throughout South Africa’s health care system, for a selected set of indicators.
The publication is designed to assist the NDoH in making health and health-related information available so that progress in health-service delivery can be monitored at district level. It is a valuable knowledge-base, with health- and finance-related indicators depicting the performance of South Africa’s 52 health districts. The publication informs district, provincial and national strategic plans as it measures similar indicators at the different levels.
The DHB highlights inequities in health outcomes, health-resource allocation and the efficiency of health processes in the provinces and districts. By monitoring the indicators, personnel working at all levels in the health sector are well positioned to make informed decisions to strengthen and improve the quality of primary health care, and people’s access to it. A key merit of the DHB is its multi-dimensional approach to imparting knowledge that empowers action.
The publication is also used by the Presidency, as well as other organisations and universities in South Africa and abroad, and Health Systems Trust continues to receive positive feedback on each edition.
This 10th edition includes 44 indicators, with trend illustrations and health profiles for South Africa, the nine provinces and the 52 districts. It also includes a chapter on burden of disease.
We urge health-service providers, managers, researchers and policy-makers to make use of this valuable information to improve the service provided to the South African population.
As always, we welcome commentary and feedback that facilitates further improvement of the DHB, thus enhancing the quality of future editions.
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