São Tomé and Príncipe country profile is under way

São Tomé and Príncipe has started working on its country analytical profile for the African Health Observatory (AHO). The first draft of the Health information section has been completed.




São Tomé and Príncipe AHO profile will be in Portuguese. With support from the WHO Country Office, in particular Dr Fernando Vaz das Neves acting as AHO focal point, a local consultant was selected. Mr Ayet de Ceita, former health surveillance official at São Tomé and Príncipe Ministry of Health, is the author of the health information profile report, which should be published soon at the AHO portal. This important part of the country profile includes 55 sections.

The AHO country profiles aim at giving an overview of the country’s health situation with an analytical insight. This means the AHO profiles are not merely descriptive, but intend to go further and explain main trends.
In order to write the São Tomé and Príncipe health information profile, the consultant had to go through several reports, pieces of legislation and other related documents. He visited several national and international sites and exchanged information with health stakeholders from the São Tomé and Príncipe Ministry of Health, WHO and United Nations bodies, local non-governmental organizations and other key people.
The health information profile report will provide a clear picture of São Tomé and Príncipe’s e-Health development, technologies incorporated in the country’s health services, progress made on health surveillance system, etc.

As for research and knowledge, access to evidence based information is evolving in the country, as well as research capacity. Mr Ayet de Ceita’s report highlights WHO contribution to this area with several resources, like the ePORTUGUESe network, the São Tomé and Príncipe Virtual Health Library and other resources available online and in local libraries in Portuguese and other languages. These resources give health professionals and students free access to international scientific publications, which are crucial for health human resources training, capacity building, information sharing and empowerment at the local level.

Next steps
São Tomé and Príncipe has now the challenge of completing the 31 remaining sections of the country’s analytical health profile. These sections contain major items crucial to better understand the health system and health surveillance situation in the country: the structure of the health system, health financing and results, national health policy and universal coverage, progress on specific programmes and services (like HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, etc.), key determinants, and health-related Millennium Development Goals. Progress on the Ouagadougou, Algiers and Libreville declarations are also reported in the profile.

Why country profiles are important
Country profiles are a key feature of the AHO web portal. The work on analytical profiles is ongoing in several countries and it is expected that all 47 countries will produce their profiles in the near future.
Country analytical profiles are produced by a national stakeholder group coordinated by the ministry of health, assisted by the country office of World Health Organization. The profiles are based on both quantitative and qualitative information and aim to be comprehensive in all areas covered.
The AHO is an open, transparent, collaborative platform that supports and facilitates the acquisition, generation, diffusion, translation and use of information, evidence and knowledge by countries. The ultimate goal is to help countries improve their national health systems.

Useful Information
São Tomé and Príncipe has 188 000 inhabitants with a life expectancy at birth of 67 years for both sexes. The under-five mortality rate is 53 per 1000 live births (also for both sexes). National expenditure on health amounts 7.9% of GDP (2012 data).

Know more about the country’s health situation:

São Tomé and Príncipe – AHO Factsheets of Health Statistics 2010
Atlas of African Health Statistics 2014
AHO Data & Statistics Platform
São Tomé and Príncipe – Country profile in WHO Regional Office for Africa
São Tomé and Príncipe – latest data available from Global Health Observatory

Other resources
São Tomé and Príncipe ePORTUGUÊSe virtual health library
ePORTUGUESe network
São Tomé and Príncipe WHO Country Office