Yaounde-Cameroon,World Health Day: 7 April 2022- The need to strengthen health data governance has never been greater. Digitalisation is increasing the availability of data that can be used by practitioners, policy makers and individuals to improve personal and public health. However, the benefits of health and health-related data are not yet fully exploited to accelerate progress towards universal health coverage (UHC) for all. Poor governance of health data also risks exacerbating health inequalities, perpetuating bias and discrimination against marginalised communities and undermining individual health and human rights.
In response to these challenges, Transform Health; a global coalition of organisations (based in Switzerland) dedicated to achieving health for all in the digital age; has led the development of eight principles for action based on equity and human rights. The principles are structured around three interconnected objectives: a) protecting people; b) promoting the value of health; and c) prioritising equity. The principles are the result of an inclusive and consultative process including eight workshops, a public consultation and contributions from over 200 experts from all parts of the world, sectors and stakeholders.
Advocacy for the adoption of the Principles is taking place in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, South, East and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe, North America and the Pacific. The aim is to advocate for the need for a global health data governance framework (based on principles of equity and human rights), including supporting/calling for a World Health Assembly (WHA) resolution on this issue, including the 75th WHA to be held from 22-28 May 2022. Transform Health‘s main partners for this initiative are: WHO, World Bank, PATH, Digital Square, regional and national health informatics associations.
This initiative is led in Sub-Saharan Africa by the Pan African Health Informatics Association (HELINA), and in Cameroon by the Cameroonian Health Informatics Society (CAHIS). CAHIS will be organising a Round Table in the next few days to present a set of principles for health data governance based on equity and human rights. Participants (international organisations, NGOs, Civil Society, University, MINSANTE, etc.) will discuss the need for a global health data governance framework (based on these principles) to strengthen equitable data governance in this rapidly digitising world.
Prof. Vincent DJIENTCHEU
Prof. Samuel Kingue
Prof. Georges Nguefack-Tsague
President of the Cameroonian
Health Informatics Society (CAHIS)
Ministry of Public Health
President of Statistical Society of Cameroon; HELINA Advocacy Focal Point