Lopez to head international health metrics board

Prominent Queensland-based academic Alan Lopez has been elected chair of the executive board of the Health Metrics Network (HMN), a World Health Organisation-hosted body designed to improve health information in poorer countries.

Professor Lopez, head of the School of Population Health and a professor of medical statistics at the University of Queensland, will chair the HMN board for three years.

The HMN was founded in 2005 and is based at WHO headquarters in Geneva. It works with low and middle income countries to strengthen health information systems that can then provide the reliable, complete and timely information about public health.

“This is a crucial point in global health when we have the opportunity to consolidate and accelerate some great progress with disease control programs over the past decade, particularly for key global health concerns such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and vaccine-preventable conditions such as measles,“ Professor Lopez said.

“Consolidating these gains and further improving progress towards the Millennium Development Goals will depend on accurate, relevant and timely health information systems.”

The HMN has developed a framework for health systems that is already in place in more than 80 countries around the world.

It has created a priority strategic initiative called MOVE-IT, which aims to improve monitoring of vital events such as births, deaths and causes of death through innovation and the use of information technologies.

Members are working to develop standards and tools that facilitate recording, reporting and analysis of health data and recently released a first draft of a set of standards for minimal data requirements in relation to pregnancies, births and deaths using mobile phones.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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