On 01 April, 2017, the three-day International Conference on “Data for Decision (D4D) in Health” was inaugurated in the Grand Ball Room (14th floor) of Le Meridien Hotel, Dhaka, Bangladesh. The conference highlighted the global and regional progress to date in strengthening Health Management Information System, showcase innovations from institutes, academics and development partners across the world, present status of the country on ensuring access to information, data visualization, accountability and management of the system.
Geneviève Begkoyian, Senior Health Specialist from UNICEF HQ; Prof. James Bachelor, Director of Clinical Informatics Research Unit, University of Southampton; Dr. Jaap Koot, Team Leader of European Union and Dr. Sathya Doraiswamy, Chief of Health, UNFPA shared experiences of different countries in using data for decision making. Panel discussion ended with vibrant discussion on data for financing in health among development partners from USAID, DFID, and UNDP’s Access to Information (a2i) Programme on 02 April, 2017. The conference was concluded by the Honorable Minister of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Mr. Mohammed Nasim, MP. He stated that ‘health as priority agenda of present government’. He talked about several successful initiatives like community clinics, reducing maternal and neonatal mortality and immunization programmes, which have been recognized globally.
On the last day of the event, international participants from 19 countries visited the Management Information System (MIS) of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), its local health bulletin and national data center and participated in video conference with district and Upazila level health managers as part of their regular monitoring system with DGHS. International participants also visited Government Employee hospital of the capital and Kaliganj Upazila Health Complex of Gazipur district.
The conference was hosted by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh with the support from Access to Information (a2i) Programme under Prime Minister’s Office, European Union, icddr’b, UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO, Vital Strategies of Bloomberg Philanthropies, Measure Evaluation, USAID funded SIAPS program, HISP Bangladesh, private sector and other development agencies; which brings together government officials, development partners, and leaders from the private sector, academicians, researchers, civil society, media and other national and international stakeholders in different technical sessions and marketplace of the Conference.