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DHIS2 News: HISP Centre receives £14.5 million from Wellcome for Climate & Health

Funding from Wellcome will help low- and middle-income countries strengthen the climate resilience of their health systems with innovative DHIS2 solutions

The HISP center at the University of Oslo (UiO) has been awarded nearly £14.5 million from Wellcome to launch our global efforts on DHIS2 for climate and health. The Wellcome-funded project aims to help local health authorities in low- and middle-income countries respond to health challenges linked to climate change through innovative digital solutions based on the DHIS2 platform.

In announcing the grant, Tariq Khokhar, Head of Data for Science and Health at Wellcome, said:

“The changing size, age and geographic distributions of populations worldwide, coupled with the effects of climate change, demand more effective digital health systems to support the planning and delivery of care. DHIS2 is by far the most widely deployed health information management system, and the team brings a holistic, socio-technical approach to its development and implementation, working closely with the communities they support. We’re pleased to be supporting the team to develop and maintain this essential digital health infrastructure, which will help deliver effective healthcare and high-quality research to understand and adapt to the effects of climate change on human health.”

Read the full press release from Wellcome

This work will leverage existing DHIS2 systems and capacity in more than 80 countries, and bring together experts from climate and health fields to incorporate weather, climate, and environmental data into DHIS2 to support data-driven decisions that can help countries strengthen the climate resilience of their health systems. Several countries – such as Laos, Mozambique, and Malawi – have already begun integrating climate data into their DHIS2 systems for use cases including early warning of climate-sensitive infectious diseases and food security. The HISP network will work with local partners and stakeholders to develop digital solutions for these and other potential climate and health use cases based on local needs.

In planning and coordinating this work, the HISP Centre will collaborate with an international network of experts from climate and health fields, including the the Global Health Resilience group and the Earth System Services group at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) at the Columbia Climate School, and the CICERO Center for International Climate Research. The group will also liaise with subject matter experts at the World Health Organization and World Meteorological Organization for input and guidance on global standard and best practices.

At UiO, the project has inspired the formation of an interdisciplinary research group led by the HISP Centre with members from various faculties and sections within the areas of digitalization, machine learning, data/statistics, health and climate, among others. Professor Kristin Braa heads the HISP center and has lead responsibility for the Wellcome-funded DHIS2 climate and health project.

Professor Kristin Braa of the HISP Centre presents the DHIS2 Climate & Health project at COP28

The partnership between HISP and Wellcome was publicly announced at COP28 in Dubai at the PATH-hosted event «Digital Public Goods to Address the Impacts of Climate on Health — At Scale» in the WHO health pavilion on 2 December 2023. Watch a recording of the event on the WHO website

Visit the new DHIS2 for Climate section on our website for additional details. We invite countries and potential partners who are interested in being involved in this project to contact us at climate@dhis2.org