"In a global health crisis, the world is only as strong as its weakest health system." Where is ACCESS to HEALTH INFORMATION weakest? (4)

22 May, 2020

Thank you Julie.

We want to answer your questions:

1) are those who have poorest access to health information represented directly or indirectly here on HIFA - and if not, how can we make sure they are?

Answer: I think that most members of HIFA who come from or are in LMICs can be said to 'represent' those with 'poorest access to health information'. Five months into the COVID-19 Pandemic with daily briefings by National Governments of African countries, like Nigeria is still wide spread ignorance amongst the population about COVID-19 and whether it exists at all. Many feel that it (Covid19) is a 'scam' by their government 'to make money through new drugs and vaccination' (Anodectal information)! The reason is that before COVID-19 pandemic governance was very poor and not transparent. Most of the population had no trust in their governments and so far the messaging on Covid-19 has been limited to capital cities and Tertiary Hospitals in those cities, not reaching rural communities. Confidence and Trust need to be built urgently.

2) Also, how do we measure strength/weakness in access to health information? What are the indices for access to health information - do they exist? And if so, are we all aware of them?

Answer: The measurement of strengths/weaknesses of access; indices of access; and whether members are aware, calls for well designed studies by members possibly with other local groups that share the HIFA vision. During this covid-19 pandemic, such studies to obtain data to answer this question can be part of and should take place during the Response in each country. The HIFA Country Representatives who have done so well so far can work with members in doing the study. The best time is as the country response expands to rural communities and the PHC and Secondary care levels. HIFA members can engage their country's covid-19 response team to gain permission to explore the opportunities for the study. The various Country Representatives are well placed to give support.. On our part we (HRIWA) are looking to do it in Nigeria.

Joseph Ana.


@Health Resources International (HRI) WA.

National Implementing Organisation: 12-Pillar Clinical Governance

National Standards and Quality Monitor and Assessor

National Implementing Organisation: PACK Nigeria Programme for PHC

Publisher: Medical and Health Journals; Books and Periodicals.

Nigeria: 8 Amaku Street, State Housing & 20 Eta Agbor Road, Calabar.

Tel: +234 (0) 8063600642

Website: www.hriwestafrica.com email: jneana@yahoo.co.uk ; hriwestafrica@gmail.com

Joseph Ana.

HIFA profile: Joseph Ana is the Lead Consultant and Trainer at the Africa Centre for Clinical Governance Research and Patient Safety in Calabar, Nigeria. In 2015 he won the NMA Award of Excellence for establishing 12-Pillar Clinical Governance, Quality and Safety initiative in Nigeria. He has been the pioneer Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) National Committee on Clinical Governance and Research since 2012. He is also Chairman of the Quality & Performance subcommittee of the Technical Working Group for the implementation of the Nigeria Health Act. He is a pioneer Trustee-Director of the NMF (Nigerian Medical Forum) which took the BMJ to West Africa in 1995. He is particularly interested in strengthening health systems for quality and safety in LMICs. He has written Five books on the 12-Pillar Clinical Governance for LMICs, including a TOOLS for Implementation. He established the Department of Clinical Governance, Servicom & e-health in the Cross River State Ministry of Health, Nigeria in 2007. Website: www.hriwestafrica.com Joseph is a member of the HIFA Steering Group and the HIFA working group on Community Health Workers.



Email: jneana AT yahoo.co.uk