The World Health Organisation (WHO)’s definition of health is often used: "Health is a state of complete physical, psychological and social well being and not simply the absence of disease or infirmity". Health needs of the district incorporate wider social and environmental determinants of health, such as deprivation, housing, diet, education and employment. This wider definition allows us to look beyond the confines of the medical model based on health service. Assumption: The existing number of health facilities will remain constant over the planned period. Due to resource constraints not all of the backlogs of the various health facilities will be provided with the plan period. The specific number of facilities to be provided to meet the health need of the local population will be indicated at the proposal stage of the plan preparation.
Other health need of the people could include the following;
- Health education to curtail the spread of preventable diseased such as malaria, bilharzias, cholera and diarrhea.
- Educating mothers on nutritional requirements to curtail the incidence of malnutrition among the other five
Assumption: the existing number of health personnel was done based on the ministry of health standard requirement of personnel to man a particular health facility. It must be emphasized that not all the deficits in terms of the health personnel to man the various institutions can be provided. However there is the need to lobby for adequate personnel at the regional level to man the health facilities provided in order to meet some of the health needs of the people.The Essence of Health Needs Assessment
Health needs assessment provide the opportunity for:
Estimating Future Health Facilities
- Highlighting the areas of unmet needs and providing a clear set of objectives to work towards to meet these needs;
- Deciding rationally how to use resources to improve population’s health in the most effective and efficient way;
- Learn more about the needs and priorities of patients and the local population;
- Influencing the policy, inter-agency collaboration or research and development priorities More importantly, health needs assessment also provides a method of monitoring and promoting equity in the provision and use of health services and addressing inadequacies in health services provision.
The following steps were followed in the estimation of future health needs;
- Estimate the current population - use the population growth rate.
- Count the current number and category of health facilities that is district hospital, health center, community clinic.
- Use current standards and apply to categories. The current standards applied in the country are as follows;
Community Clinic (level A) 200 to 5000 population
Health Center (Level B) - 5000 to 10000 population
Hospital (Level C) 17, 500 to 240, 000 population
- Estimate the future population (Pt)
- Work out the difference between the future population (Pt) and the current population (Po) as (Pt - Po).
- Match the type of health facility that the future population will need with the standards and suggest the appropriate level of facility needed
- The type and number determined will be the requirements for the future.