More reliable data is needed for health sector to address its challenges, and take necessary initiatives for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said health experts yesterday.
If the data is not available, the government and international organisations will not be able to take proper decisions and run development projects, they added.
They made the remarks at the inaugural ceremony of an international conference on Data for Decision (D4D) in Health held at a hotel in the capital.
State Minister for Health Zahid Maleque inaugurated the three-day conference organised by Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) in association with government and international organisations, including European Union, Unicef, icddr,b, Directorate General of Family Planning, USAID and WHO.
Representatives of 19 countries, including the US, Norway, Haiti, Myanmar and Sri Lanka are taking part in the conference.
Speaking as the chief guest, the state minister said health data helped the government address many of its challenges, like increase of non-communicable diseases, malnutrition and disease pattern.
But the data has to be reliable so that the decisions, which will be made according to it, can help the people, he added.
Prof Abul Kalam Azad, director general of DGHS, said reliable health data can help the policy makers. “We need to invest more in strengthening data sources and capacities, while more alignment with stakeholders is also needed…,” he said.
He also said the country has progressed remarkably in generating health data and drawn global attention through its different initiatives, such as the District Health Information System and a central health information dashboard.
Sirazul Islam, secretary of health and family welfare ministry; Mario Ronconi, head of cooperation of EU delegation in Bangladesh; Sheema Sengupta, deputy representative of Unicef Bangladesh, and Dr Nazimun Nessa, a director of DGHS, also spoke.