Workshop on data set collection eye awakening, says Nevis Health Official

NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (MAY 13, 2013) — Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health on Nevis Mrs. Nicole Slack-Liburd, described a one-day workshop which investigated the minimum data set that should be collected in St. Kitts and Nevis, as an eye-awakening exercise.

Mrs. Slack-Liburd’s comment came during an interview with the Department of Information on May 10, 2013 in her response to the feedback from the May 7th workshop which was a collaborative effort between St. Kitts and Nevis and the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO).

“I must say it was an eye-awakening exercise for everyone. Everyone had an opportunity to share and understand better, the way forward with regards to not only health planning at the national level but in the various sectors in St. Kitts and Nevis as well,” she said.

According to Mrs. Slack-Liburd, the indicators were not specific to health but they worked in partnership with both the public and private sectors to discuss the type of data they were collecting and to share the indicators collected at the Ministerial level. They also decided what minimum standard they would collect going forward at the national level.

The Permanent Secretary explained that at the end of the workshops held, one each in Nevis and St. Kitts, the outcome of both would be reviewed and a common understanding would be arrived at as to what type of data would be collected.

“At the end of it all, there will be an Indicator Dictionary at the national level, where everyone will be able to reference and see what it is as a nation we are collecting, in terms of not only health indicators related to morbidity, mortality and immunisation for example but other critical information that impacts the Health Sector.

“For example, data with regard to Social Security and injuries; crop protection in Agriculture; finance data to impact national health accounts and this is a project that’s currently being undertaken in St. Kitts and Nevis. Some of you would have heard of the National Health Expenditure Survey that’s currently ongoing,” she said.

Mrs. Slack-Liburd noted that the collaborative workshop would also give health officials an idea of St. Kitts and Nevis’s position in terms of health indicators and where the islands needed to be in the future.

In conclusion, the Permanent Secretary stated, that all the partners involved in the workshop on Nevis were pleased with the outcome since it provided an opportunity to share data.

“I must say that all partners were pleased with the outcome in terms of sharing and becoming aware of what it is we collect because too often we at the Ministry of Health may be aware of what indicators we collect but might not be familiar with what the Disaster Management Department for example, Agriculture and Education what it is they collect.

“So at the end of the day, we can all share and have a common understanding at a national level of what it is that we need to prioritise that will really impact our budget processes for example,” she said.

Participants for the workshop were drawn from a wide cross section from both the public and private sectors, the Ministry of Health and other critical departments, among them representatives from Social Security, Disaster Management Department, Agriculture, Ministry of Finance, Statistics and Economic Planning, Ministry of Education and Social Services.

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