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Workshop on the Omani Health Survey Experience

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The Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) organized last week a training workshop on the 2017 National Health Survey Project in collaboration with the Bahraini Ministry of Health. The workshop was presented by experts from the Omani Ministry of Health within the framework of exchanging and benefiting from GCC experiences in implementing this survey approved by the World Health Organization. Attendance included 20 persons concerned with the survey project – from both entities.

Held for a course of five days from 22nd to 26th October, the workshop was conducted based on the directions of the Kingdom of Bahrain to enhance its health system by updating the health database for citizens and residents in order to measure health performance indicators, utilize such information and data in preparing the strategic plans to manage health programs as well as evaluate their efficiency on a national level through the implementation of the survey project in coordination and partnership with the Ministry of Health. The survey sample comprises 4,000 families, both citizens and non-citizens.

In this regard, iGA Acting Vice Chief Executive of Statistics and Population Register Dr. Nabeel bin Shams stressed the massive importance of the national health survey, its results and analytical data in helping to set development, economic and human plans that are related to developing the national health system. Additionally, it enables decision-makers to draw the general and future policies of the Kingdom in this field as he indicated that the training comes within a series of preparatory stages prepared by the authority in collaboration with the Ministry of Health to soon implement the national health survey by training the first batch of surveyors.

Ministry of Health Assistant Undersecretary for Primary Care and Public Health Dr. Mariam Ebrahim AlHajeri emphasized that providing comprehensive information on the population’s health status contributes to the development of an integrated image of the health system in terms of three main components – determining the burden of diseases, amount of health funding and accurate response mechanisms of the health system. This will contribute in determining and setting future strategies that are related to health expenses and insurance as well as necessary human resources to work in the Kingdom’s health sector.

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Mr. Waleed bin Nasser AlShikeely, Head of Health Research Ministry of Health in Sultanate of Oman, stated that the Kingdom of Bahrain has reached the preparatory stage of the survey in advanced stages and is fully ready to move to the implementation and field work. “Through this workshop, we aim at transferring surveyors’ experiences of the World Health Survey 2008 for the Sultanate of Oman by introducing the mechanisms, best opportunities and challenges encountered during the implementation,”.

During the training workshop, work mechanism and collecting of data have been introduced from the households involved in the survey sample along with the method of training field researchers. In addition to the Sultanate experience in forming these field teams. Attendees were also presented with the tests and health measurements accompanied in the survey, devices, utilized tools and identifying the questionnaires and method of completing their data.

The significance of media aspect in preparing the society to accept participating in the survey; requires a comprehensive media plan covering all communication channels highlighting the importance of their constructive participation due to the national role and belonging. The statistical analyses of the data was also highlighted during the workshop; which contributes in unifying the mechanism of extracting data when required for its adaptation with statistical and international standards within the framework.

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