In cooperation with the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health and other institutions, the Palestinian National Institute of Public Health (PNIPH) Project, which is being set up by the World Health Organization (WHO) , conducted two consecutive workshops that aimed at supporting the improvement of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and reproductive health the registries, as part of the Institute’s’s overall action plan to improve the utilization of information for action.
Dr. Rand Salman, the project manager of the PNIPH project introduced the first workshop about NCDs registries by highlighting the importance of surveillance for the prevention and control of NCDs together with healthcare.
“The global strategy action plan for the prevention and control of NCDs identifies key component: Surveillance, prevention and healthcare. This workshop focuses on surveillance which aims to assess and monitor NCD risk factors and analyze their social, economic, behavioral, and political determinants in order to provide guidance for political, legislative, and financial measures”. Dr. Rand said.
Dr. Rand also stressed the rising risks of NCDs. She said that NCDs are currently the leading global cause of death worldwide, and they currently account for 43% of the burden of disease and are expected to be responsible for 60% of the disease burden by 2020.
Dr. Bjorn Iversen, the Senior Technical Advisor of the PNIPH gave a presentation about the WHO Global monitoring framework for NCDs that identified the aims of the framework. “The aim is to develop a comprehensive global monitoring framework, including indicators capable of application across regional and country settings, through multi-sectorial process, to monitor trends and assess progress made in the implementation of national strategies and plans on NCDs” Dr. Bjorn said.
The Norwegian experience regarding the national health registries was then presented by the Head of the Norwegian Public Health Institute Ms. Camila Stollenbery, followed by an overview of the current context of NCDs surveillance in Palestine presented by Mr./Dr. Izzat Rayyan, the Primary Health Care Officer at the Palestinian Health Information Center at MOH who mentioned that a lot of effort has been done to improve the national registries and build health surveillance systems in Palestine over the last decade; however there is still a need to develop NCD surveillance in Palestine, so that decision makers will have confidence in policy making.
Gaza’s experience in the development of electronic health service patient files was then presented by Ms. Lubna Al-Sharif , the National Professional Officer at the WHO, followed by a presentation by Ms. Jehad Sabbah, a project coordinator at the United Nations Relief and Work Agency(UNRWA) on NCDs health registries.
The workshops resulted in several valuable recommendations, including the need to activate the NCD thematic group that involves all the related institutions and ministries in order to agree on a mutual agenda about the information available, the information needed, and how it can be improved and utilized. The attendance also discussed the importance of having a centralized national electronic information system to avoid data duplication and to ensure better sharing of data.
Mr. Tony Laurance, the head of WHO office in Palestine opened the Second workshop about reproductive health registries . “We welcome all the attendants from different health centers and institutions in Palestine. A the key factor for the PNIPH project’s success is collaboration between all the concerned stakeholders for an improved maternity service that stems from the availability of high quality of information.” Mr. Laurance said.
Dr. Fredriche Froer, the Director of International Public Health Department in the Norwegian Institute of Public Health introduced the WHO project that aims at a harmonized reproductive health registry. His presentation was followed by an overview about UNRWA’s work on reproductive health registries presented by Dr. Umayya Khammash and Ms. Khawla Abu Diab.
The experience of the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) in registering antenatal, prenatal, and postnatal and the quality of health care was then presented by Dr. Ali Sha’ar, the program officer at UNFPA.
Dr. Waleed Abu Hatab, the WHO Focal Point for the Safe Delivery Project at Nasser Medical Complex, presented “The Gaza Project” on prenatal quality of care that aims at improving safety and quality of childbirth care in Gaza. Finally, Ms. Berit Mortenson the program manager of NORWAC Midwifery Project gave an overview about the project. “Despite all the challenges that the Palestinian Community face in developing the maternity services, still there is a great potential for development in Palestine especially that there is a high level of education and knowledge, and great chances to overcome the various challenges and problems.” Ms. Berit Said.