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Developer(s) Health Information Systems Programme
Type Health management information system
License DHIS 1: proprietary
Website http://www.dhis2.org/

The District Health Information System (DHIS) is a highly flexible, open-source health management information system and data warehouse. It is developed by the Health Information Systems Programme (HISP).[1] The core development activities are managed and coordinated by the Department of Informatics at the University of Oslo, and supported by The Norwegian Research Council, NORAD, The University of Oslo, and The Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education.

The solution covers aggregated routine data, semi-permanent data (staffing, equipment, infrastructure, population estimates), survey/audit data, and certain types of case-based or patient-based data (for instance disease notification or patient satisfaction surveys). The system supports the capture of data linked to any level in an organisational hierarchy, any data collection frequency, a high degree of customisation at both the input and output side. It has been translated into a number of languages.

The DHIS was originally developed for three health districts in Cape Town in 1998-99, but has since spread via the HISP network to nearly half of sub-Saharan Africa, where its use covers a population of 300-400 million people, and to a number of countries in Asia. The initial scope - routine monthly Primary Health Center data – has systematically been expanded to cover nearly all aspects of health data and information (excluding electronic health records). Available aggregated data for South Africa from 1998–2007, for instance, represent close to one billion patient encounters.

For electronic health records, DHIS is collaborating with the WHO-backed OpenMRS system.


DHIS is available in several releases:

  • DHIS 1.3
  • DHIS 1.4
  • DHIS 2.0

DHIS 1.3 and 1.4[edit]

The DHIS was developed on the Microsoft Access platform consisting of VBA for the interface or program logic (front-end), Access as a database (back-end), Excel for reporting and Windows as the OS. DHIS 1.4 is a significant overhaul of the version 1.3 database structure, using various output formats for reporting. It bridges the gap between DHIS 1.3 and 2.0.

DHIS 2[edit]

DHIS 2 is an open source alternative to the earlier releases. The software development process is a global collaboration between students, researchers and experienced developers in Norway, India, South Africa, Ethiopia, Vietnam and Nigeria. The first release, version 2.0, came in February 2008 after three years of development releases. DHIS 2 is developed using open-source Java frameworks and tools, such as the Spring Framework, Hibernate, Struts2, Maven, and JUnit.[2]


  1. ^ Lars, Mangset (2005). "Abstract of Thesis submitted to University of Oslo". DHIS-2 - A Globally Distributed Development Process. Retrieved 17 March 2010. 
  2. ^ Braa, Jørn; Humberto Muquing (2007). Building collaborative networks in Africa on health information systems and open source software development – Experiences from the HISP/BEANISH network. CiteSeerX: 

External links[edit]