The Healthcare Data Crisis in Africa & How To Mitigate It

  • 28th Nov,2023
  • 1 min Read

Access to quality healthcare remains a significant challenge across Africa. A key barrier underlying many issues is the lack of healthcare data management systems. Unfortunately the majority of African countries face major gaps in collecting, analyzing, and utilizing health data, greatly hindering health outcomes and policies.

Numerous reports have highlighted the scale of this crisis. According to the UN, only 13% of births are registered in Sub-Saharan Africa, making tracking health trends incredibly difficult. A 2019 World Bank study of 7 African nations found 80% of potential data sources were still in paper formats, with only 20% digitized for analysis. The WHO African Regional Health Report underlined how this data shortage leads to increased mortality and disease burdens from preventable illnesses. 

Limited funding and technical skills are frequently cited as reasons for poor health data management. The Economist reported that African governments spend less than $10 per person annually on health information systems and data. African countries also have approximately 1/10th the minimum recommended data analysts to make effective use of health data.

However, promising options now exist to tackle these healthcare data challenges, through comprehensive data analytics and AI solutions tailored for the public sector. Global technology firms like CSM are rolling out secure cloud platforms that fully digitize, clean, integrate, and visualize dispersed healthcare data sources. Powerful new analytics dashboards give decision-makers instant access to critical health indicators while advanced AI models generate actionable insights and alerts from the data.  

CSM's digital health solutions are already assisting ministries of health in multiple nations to enhance outbreak prediction, improve supply chain visibility, optimize resource allocation, benchmark facility performance, and understand public health impacts across populations. By converging healthcare data into a single source of truth, enabling advanced analytics across fragmented systems, and increasing local data science capacity, the CSM health data platform aims to trigger a new era in data-driven policymaking for Africa. 

Tacking the data crisis impacting health outcomes is an urgent need CSM stands ready to support. African governments have a duty to strengthen health data management, requiring internal investments in digitization along with selecting the right external technology partners. Through modern data platforms like CSM and growing political will to address the crisis, Africa can build resilient data foundations to drive progress on healthcare access and quality. Quality data leads to quality healthcare.

Bibhuti Bhusan Routray

Head, Marketing

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