Led by PATH and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the BID Initiative is grounded in the belief that better data, plus better decisions, will lead to better health outcomes. It was designed in partnership with countries to enhance overall health service delivery through improved data collection, quality, and use.
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Launching the future of data

By Saumu Juma, Communications Associate, BID Initiative

Posted in ,

Photo: Honorable Ummy Mwalimu, the Minister of Health, celebrated Tanzania’s progress and reiterated her commitment to using data quality and use interventions to improve immunization service delivery in front of members of the media, government officials, and other stakeholders.

Tanzania has made strides in embracing digital platforms within its health system. Health workers, for example, are using defaulter lists from the Tanzania Immunization Registry (TImR) to trace patients who have missed vaccines in the vast Ngorongoro District, which has previously struggled to retain children within immunization programs because of the district’s nomadic communities. Health workers in Tanga are also witnessing firsthand the full advantages of using an exclusively electronic system. And in June, the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MOHCDGDEC) and the Immunization and Vaccines Development (IVD) program took another step towards Tanzania’s digital future by retiring its paper-based registries in favor of a fully digital immunization system in Tanga Region.

Earlier this year, Tanzania cemented its commitment to digital by jointly launching a series of Gavi-supported programs that include the Electronic Immunization System (EIS), a mobile application which collects immunization information at the health facility level, auto-generates reports and then sends it to the Vaccines Information Management System (VIMS), and the Cold Chain Equipment Optimization Platform (CCEOP). CCEOP is a program that Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance jointly invested in with countries to purchase and install reliable cold chain equipment that are vital to improved temperature, vaccine safety, and effectiveness. These investments help countries reach more children with life-saving vaccines and protect them against deadly diseases, resulting in increased immunization coverage and greater health equity. The Remote Temperature Monitoring (RTM) Devices are used to monitor the performance of cold chain equipment to maintain safe temperature ranges. In order to maintain vaccine quality, it is essential to monitor the temperature of vaccines throughout the supply chain. Modern temperature monitoring devices are designed to provide both a view of the current storage temperature, as well as a digital record of the temperatures and high-risk events over time.

Though rollout of EIS began back in 2015 and RTM and CCEOP started at the end of 2018, this February marked the official launch of these systems. The successful launch is the result of countless digital champions across Tanzania’s health system.

Honorable Ummy Mwalimu, the Minister of Health, celebrated the country’s progress and reiterated her commitment to using data quality and use interventions to improve immunization service delivery in front of members of the media, government officials, and other stakeholders on February 22, 2019. To express her support for the important role of data quality and use interventions for improving immunization service delivery, the Government of Tanzania has committed to:

Expediting the scale up of the systems nationally because they have been embraced by health workers at all levels. Scale up will increase the sense of responsibility. Increasing the sense of ownership within the health system now that the government officially owns and operates all systems. District and regional mentors support users at the health facility level, ensuring that the whole process is managed by health workers themselves.

Participants included representatives from the BID Initiative, UNICEF, JSI, Nexleaf Analytics, and other MOHCDGEC partners. From within the MOHCDGEC, key guests included the Hon. Ummy Mwalimu, the Director of Preventive Services, Dr. Leonard Subi, the Chief Medical Doctor, Dr. Mohamed Bakari Kambi, and the Manager of Tanzania’s IVD program, Dr. Dafrossa Lyimo.

Original author: Celina Kareiva
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The key to better primary health care? Human-centered design

By Kelly Huffman, PATH

Posted in People, Policies & Practices, Practices

Photo: PATH/Trevor Snapp. Patients wait for an immunization clinic at the Usa River Health Center in Tanzania.

The following post appeared on path.org. 

Human-centered design is an approach to problem-solving that puts people first. Their needs, their constraints, their contexts and their perspectives. It focuses on users—not necessarily what designers, researchers, or others think users need.

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BLN members convene in Lusaka to trade learnings, share progress on digital journey

By Celina Kareiva, Senior Communications Associate, BID Initiative

Posted in BID Learning Network (BLN), People, Policies & Practices

Photo: PATH/Catherine Muyawala. Members of the BID Learning Network (BLN) and Gavi Data Quality and Use (DQU) Collaborative met in Lusaka, Zambia last month from July 24 to 26 to share experiences from their respective countries.

Members of the BID Learning Network (BLN) and Gavi Data Quality and Use (DQU) Collaborative met in Lusaka, Zambia last month  from July 24 to 26 to share experiences from their respective countries, partner to overcome their challenges around immunization service delivery, and further develop and refine their data quality improvement (DQI) plans. Attendees included country representatives from The Gambia, Mozambique, Liberia, Uganda, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Malawi, and Zambia. Each country is at a slightly different place in their efforts to adopt data quality and use interventions to improve immunization, and so were paired throughout the meeting for peer review of their country plans.

Among them was Dr. William Kaboré, a BLN member and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Officer for Burkina Faso’s Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI). The BID Initiative sat down with Dr. Kaboré to understand what this most recent meeting has meant to him, what he hopes to take back to his home country, and what he’s looking forward to next time.

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New publication defines building blocks for a successful electronic immunization registry

By By Celina Kareiva, Senior Communications Associate, BID Initiative

Posted in People, Policies & Practices, Practices

Photo: PATH/Trevor Snapp. Health workers consult patients during an immunization session at the Usa River Health Center in Tanzania.

The BID Initiative has just released an exciting new publication that will benefit other countries interested in implementing their own electronic immunization registries (EIRs). In the new journal article, “Electronic immunization registries in Tanzania and Zambia: Shaping a minimum viable product for scaled solutions,” which appeared in the multi-disciplinary, open-access journal, Frontiers in Public Health, BID hopes to help other countries avoid the costly, time-consuming, and complex ramp-up often required of these digital platforms.  

EIRs have been shown to improve the quality, availability, and accessibility of routine immunization data so that health workers can make more informed actions based on the information at their fingertips. EIRs help health workers track children who have missed vaccines, identify coverage rates, and improve the timeliness of immunization. BID worked with governments of Tanzania and Zambia to design, develop, introduce, and scale an EIR in both countries. In the process, BID also defined a comprehensive set of system requirements to ensure that both countries’ EIRs meet the needs of the health workers using them.

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Preparing the health workforce to make the most of data

By David Karunda, Program Officer, Data Use and Capacity Building, PATH and Celina Kareiva, Senior Communications Associate, PATH

Posted in People, Policies & Practices

Photo: PATH/Trevor Snapp. A nurse takes vaccines from Usa River Health Center to her small clinic. In Tanzania, PATH is working with the government to build a health workforce for its digital future.

The following post appeared on path.org.

For nearly thirty years as a health worker in Tanzania, Salome has used pen and paper to record patient data. A digital transformation promises to streamline her work and improve patient care.

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Global knowledge sharing: New PATH IDEAL-Vietnam project collaborates with BID Initiative

Global knowledge sharing: New PATH IDEAL-Vietnam project collaborates with BID Initiative

By Maya Rivera, Communications Officer, PATH

Posted in People, Policies & Practices, Products

Photo: PATH/Cuong Nguyen Phu. A health worker uses Vietnam’s digital system for tracking immunization rates.

Vaccinations have saved the lives of more children than any other medical intervention in the past 50 years, and an effective immunization approach is a critical factor in the eradication of disease. To be effective, however, doses must be administered at the appropriate intervals. Prior to 2012, all of Vietnam’s immunization records were paper-based. Time consuming, laborious, prone to errors, and a barrier to efficient vaccine stock management, this system was making it difficult to ensure children and pregnant women were getting the timely protection they needed to defend them from dangerous but preventable diseases.

Now in 2019, Vietnam has a digital system for tracking immunization rates and vaccine stocks in 99 percent of health centers nationwide. This is the National Immunization Information System (NIIS), which began as a PATH pilot in one district in Vietnam in 2012. Like the BID Initiative, which is also implementing an electronic immunization registry in Tanzania and Zambia, PATH worked closely with the government to ensure its success.

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BID expands to five more regions in Tanzania, accelerating progress

By Saumu Juma, Communications Associate, BID Initiative

Posted in People, Policies & Practices, Products, Uncategorized

Photo: PATH/Trevor Snapp. Patients wait for immunization services at Usa River Health Center in Tanzania. Data quality and use interventions are now in place in nine regions across the country.

In Tanzania, the government expanded data quality and use interventions to five more regions, including Mwanza, Njombe, Morogoro, Geita and Lindi. The Tanzania electronic immunization registry (TImR) is now being used in nine regions and 2,060 facilities in 66 districts across the country. It’s an exciting milestone for the BID Initiative because it represents the largest number of regions to implement data quality and use interventions in the shortest period of time.

The regions represent a diverse geography and demographic. Some regions are geographically large such as Morogoro. Others are very populous, such as Mwanza and Geita. There are more children in these two regions than any other to implement data quality and use interventions to date. This has big implications for TImR and immunization coverage because the system will be able to identify, record, and track children’s vaccinations. It will also ensure they receive the necessary vaccines in a timely manner.

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Aziza Ahmed Seif: Health workers make history as first in Tanzania to retire paper registers

By Celina Kareiva, Communications Associate, BID Initiative

Posted in Packaging, People, Policies & Practices, Products

Photo: PATH/Trevor Snapp. A health worker vaccinates a young patient in Tanzania.

This blog series launches the BID Story, and recounts our journey to design, develop, and implement data quality and use interventions in Tanzania and Zambia between 2014 and 2018.

In March 2018, Aziza Ahmed Seif and her fellow nurses at the Mikanjuni Health Center in Tanga, Tanzania, made history. They, along with workers at 32 other health facilities in Tanga, retired the thick paper immunization registers they had spent their entire nursing careers using and embraced a digital system that places a universe of data at their fingertips. They traded pen and paper for a tablet framed by colorful data visualizations, swapped crowded tally sheets for a simplified stock management module, and replaced the long evenings of record-keeping that used to characterize immunization clinics with a series of automated reports.

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In Zambia, BID partners with UNICEF to reach more children with life-saving vaccines

By Fred Njbovu, Implementation Manager, BID Initiative Zambia

Posted in Products

PATH/Chimwasu Njapawu. Patients wait outside a health facility in Zambia where electronic immunization registries have been rolled out to improve data quality and use.

Partnership is at the core of the BID Initiative’s success. In an effort to reach more children with life-saving vaccines, BID has partnered with UNICEF in Zambia to integrate two highly effective immunization platforms – the Zambia Electronic Immunization Registry (ZEIR) and mVacc, a UNICEF-supported mobile vaccination initiative that aims to increase awareness, improve access, and sustain use of immunization services through an SMS-based platform.

Integrating ZEIR and mVacc will improve understanding of the true number of children due for immunizations. mVacc is primarily a community-based intervention, while ZEIR is facility-based. Together, they allow for a continuum of data management, functioning as an uninterrupted platform. mVacc will provide the added value of capturing data on every birth within the community and linking mother and babies directly to the monitoring system, thus supporting personalized care in real time. It will also allow for better coverage estimates, a more accurate understanding of target populations, improved defaulter tracing, and the ability to better plan for immunization services.

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Tanzania makes history as first facilities retire paper immunization registers

By Celina Kareiva, Communications Associate, BID Initiative and Saumu Juma, Communications Associate, BID Initiative Tanzania

Posted in Policies & Practices

Photo: PATH/Trevor Snapp. A health worker consults immunization data on his tablet at Mareu Health Center.

Aziz Seif Ahmed works as a reproductive and child health nurse in Mikanjuni health center, one of the busiest clinics in Tanga municipal council, vaccinating about 370 children a month. Each month, Aziza used to spend more than 10 hours compiling and completing monthly immunization reports, and more or less the same number of hours compiling and completing child health monthly summary reports in the HMIS Book 7 to report to DHIS2. She often worked evenings and weekends to cross-reference stock ledgers, meticulously count opened vaccine vials, add tallies, and then carefully inscribe the information. It was a pain-staking process and just a few human errors from her miscalculations or the inaccurate recording of data might have serious consequences. This sometimes translated into insufficient vaccine stock and required that Aziza turn patients away for lifesaving vaccines.

So when Aziza’s was among the first health facilities in Tanzania to transition to a fully-digital immunization system, she was excited by the possibilities. Earlier this month, the government of Tanzania further cemented its leadership in digital health as it celebrated a historic milestone in its quest to improve health outcomes with better data. Eighty six health facilities in Tanga have shifted to a paperless immunization system since October 2018, with plans to transition all 332 health facilities in the region this July. While significant lessons and performance improvements have been seen in the 86 health facilities, the government felt the need to have a much bigger scope of experimentation, particularly when it came to integrating with DHIS2, to inform the paperless transition process and guidelines at scale.

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Dr. Tove Ryman: Digital tools usher in a data revolution for health workers on the front lines

By Tara Newton, Communications Officer, BID Initiative

Posted in Packaging, People, Policies & Practices, Products

Photo: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/John Healey. Dr. Tove Ryman, a Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, views vaccination records during a visit to the Mahatma Gandhi Clinic in Livingstone, Zambia.

This blog series launches the BID Story, and recounts our journey to design, develop, and implement data quality and use interventions in Tanzania and Zambia between 2014 and 2018.

With the tap of her finger, Neema Temu can easily toggle between two estimates of immunization coverage within her catchment area. A health worker at Monduli Hospital in Arusha, Tanzania, she cheerfully demonstrates her new electronic immunization registry to Dr. Tove Ryman—Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and technical lead of the BID Initiative.

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Increasing immunization coverage requires better use of better data

By Jacqui Deelstra, Senior Communications Associate, PATH and Tara Newton, Communications Officer, PATH

Photo: PATH/Trevor Snapp. A young patient holds a child health card.

Global funders, country policymakers, and immunization program implementers know that the use of high-quality data is a cornerstone of well-functioning immunization programs. When high-quality data is available, public health decision-makers can understand which populations are underserved and where resources can be allocated most effectively. Immunization coverage rates have improved over the past few decades, but they have plateaued around 80 percent. The challenge with reaching the last 20 percent of children is to know who they are and where they are, which requires easily accessible and accurate data along with the capacity to interpret that data to take action.

What has been missing is clear, evidence-based guidance on where, when, and how to implement and fund interventions to improve data quality and use. How can health workers be best supported to collect better data? How can technologists be supported to build information systems that supply decision-makers with useable data? What policies are needed to ensure health facilities have the human and technology resources needed to make better use of data? Where should funders focus to ensure their investments are having the most impact?

The Immunization Data: Evidence for Action (IDEA) project, led by PATH and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), was designed to answer these questions and identify best practices that can be adopted by funders, policymakers, and implementers to improve the quality and use of immunization data.

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Tanzania at forefront of digital transformation thanks to government leadership

By Saumu Juma, Communications Associate, BID Initiative

Posted in People

A mother’s perspective

Dr. Dafrossa Lyimo has experienced Tanzania’s digital transformation as both a mother and a health professional. As a mother to four children, she understands the long distances children often travel for a life-saving vaccine and the disappointment of being turned away because of vaccine stock-outs, among other factors. As Tanzania’s Immunization and Vaccination Development Manager, she knows the consequences of missing, inaccurate, and untimely data to inform her decisions, particularly on where and when vaccines are most needed. In both roles, she has championed the use of data to improve immunization services.

Dr. Dafrossa’s leadership has been instrumental to the success of Tanzania’s immunization program and the BID Initiative, enabling Tanzania to achieve coverage of more than 95% for Penta 3 in 2018. Half a million children have been registered in the Tanzania Immunization Registry (TImR) under the BID Initiative.

Children under the age of five can now be easily reached and followed up with for child health interventions. But that wasn’t always the case.

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Artificial intelligence for good: using machine learning to close the immunization gap

By Drew Arenth, Chief Business Officer, macro-eyes

Posted in Uncategorized

Photo: macro-eyes. The macro-eyes team poses with Hassan Mtenga of the BID Initiative, and Dr. Dafrossa Lyimo, Program Manager for Immunization and Vaccine Development in Tanzania.

Electronic immunization registries (EIRs) offer a comprehensive solution to closing the immunization gap. With more than 1,600 health facilities using data quality and use interventions and half a million children registered in EIRs in Tanzania and Zambia, the BID Initiative is on the frontlines of the digital revolution. Thanks to strong government leadership, Tanzania and Zambia maintain some of the most robust vaccine data sets on the African continent. Step aside Silicon Valley, Zambia and Tanzania are ushering global health into the era of artificial intelligence (AI).

In recognition of this government leadership, macro-eyes, a Seattle-based machine learning company with a mandate to increase access to care, was eager to learn from Tanzania’s and Zambia’s vaccine data sets. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded macro-eyes funding in 2017 to design and test a predictive supply chain for vaccines. The macro-eyes team worked with the BID Initiative and the Government of Tanzania to access the Tanzania Immunization Registry (TImR) data across more than 700 health facilities and nearly 500,000 patients.

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Goodbye paper: How Tanzania is leapfrogging the digital divide

By Henry Mwanyika, Regional Digital Health Director, PATH and Celina Kareiva, Communications Associate, BID Initiative

Posted in People, Policies & Practices, Products

Photo: PATH/Trevor Snapp. Paulo Urioh, a nurse at Mareu Health Center in Tanzania, uses a tablet to reference immunization records.

The following post appeared on path.org. 

Aziza Ahmed Seif, a health care provider in Tanga, Tanzania, sees as many as two dozen children every day. It used to be that the steady march of patients would overwhelm Aziza’s small rural clinic. That’s because she would spend up to ten hours every month hunting for data, manually cross-referencing immunization registers, and reconciling patient records—precious time that she could have otherwise spent caring for patients.

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Dr. Francis Dien Mwansa: EPI manager celebrates ‘my system’ – how country partnerships have defined BID’s success

Dr. Francis Dien Mwansa: EPI manager celebrates ‘my system’ – how country partnerships have defined BID’s success

By Mali Kambandu, Communications Officer, BID Initiative

Posted in Packaging, People, Policies & Practices, Products

This blog series launches the BID Story, and recounts our journey to design, develop, and implement data quality and use interventions in Tanzania and Zambia between 2014 and 2018.

In July 2017, the Zambia Ministry of Health (MOH) and the BID Initiative hosted a showcase event to demonstrate the data quality and use interventions that had been collaboratively developed in an iterative process since 2014. During this event, a health worker from Monze in Southern Province shared his experience with data use tools, such as the Zambia Electronic Immunization Registry (ZEIR).

Dr. Francis Dien Mwansa, Zambia’s National Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) Manager, also took to the front of the room to demonstrate ZEIR’s functions to the audience. After the demonstration, a participant from a partner organization raised her hand and asked, “I keep hearing you say ‘my, my.’ Is this an MOH system or is it BID’s? Please explain, we’re getting confused.”

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Matt Berg: The catalytic potential of rapid, iterative software development

Matt Berg: The catalytic potential of rapid, iterative software development | Better Immunization Data Initiative

By Celina Kareiva, Communications Associate, BID Initiative

Posted in Packaging, People, Policies & Practices, Products

Photo: PATH/Chimwasu Njapawu. A health worker checks immunization data on a tablet.

This blog series launches the BID Story, and recounts our journey to design, develop, and implement data quality and use interventions in Tanzania and Zambia between 2014 and 2018.

Matt Berg, the CEO of Ona, a Nairobi- and Vermont-based technology company, remembers one of the first immunization clinics he witnessed in Livingstone, Zambia. As a long queue of patients waited to be vaccinated, three health workers and one community health volunteer busied themselves with that day’s work. The community health volunteer weighed children, placing infants into a hanging canvas scale. Two nurses sat at a desk, immunization-related papers fanned out before them. As one pored over a paper registry, the other recorded data on a tally sheet and updated the child’s immunization card. A third nurse administered vaccines inside the clinic.

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Dr. Eddie Mukooyo: BID Learning Network member recounts camaraderie, opportunity of peer learning

By Celina Kareiva, Communications Associate, BID Initiative

Posted in Packaging, People, Policies & Practices, Products

Photo: PATH/Trevor Snapp. Dr. Eddie Mukooyo Sefuluya (center), a BID Learning Network, participates in a study visit to Tanzania.

This blog series launches the BID Story, and recounts our journey to design, develop, and implement data quality and use interventions in Tanzania and Zambia between 2014 and 2018.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This is how Dr. Eddie Mukooyo Sefuluya, a BID Learning Network (BLN) member and Chairperson for the Uganda AIDS Commission, describes the peer learning network that for the last five years has tackled some of the most complex challenges facing health information systems—and developed its most promising solutions. The BLN comprises more than 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. With conversation topics ranging from the design of patient registers to community-based early warning systems for Ebola outbreaks, the BLN allows participants to connect, learn, and collaborate in ways that advance their own discrete efforts, while also accelerating the pace of progress for all.

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Uganda’s immunization program officials and civil society representatives share experiences, learn about Tanzania’s electronic immunization system

Uganda’s immunization program officials and civil society representatives share experiences, learn about Tanzania’s electronic immunization system

By Brian Atuhaire, Immunization and Advocacy Manager

Posted in Packaging, People, Policies & Practices, Products

Photo: PATH/Trevor Snapp. Digitalizing immunization records helps health workers make more informed decisions about where there are gaps in immunization coverage.

This is the second blog in a series from a data learning trip to Tanzania for stakeholders from Kenya, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo to learn about the Tanzania Immunization Registry (TImR).

Uganda, like many other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa faces a number of health-related challenges. At the same time, the country has dramatically improved health outcomes through several initiatives, particularly for maternal and child health. As a signatory to the Addis Declaration on Immunization, Uganda has taken measures to improve immunization outcomes, including establishing an immunization law, increasing domestic financing, and embracing innovations, such as electronic immunization systems.

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DRC delegates journey to Tanzania to learn about the benefits of digital innovation for closing the immunization gap

DRC delegates journey to Tanzania to learn about the benefits of digital innovation for closing the immunization gap

By Guy Bokongo Nkumu, Advocacy and Policy Manager, PATH and Lysette Kavira, Senior Program Assistant, PATH

Posted in Policies & Practices

Photo: PATH/Trevor Snapp. Health workers consult patients at the Usa River Health Center in Tanzania.

This is the first blog in a series from a data learning trip to Tanzania for stakeholders from Kenya, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo to learn about the Tanzania Immunization Registry (TImR).

In early September, PATH staff from Kenya, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), joined representatives from National Expanded Programs for Immunization (EPI), civil society representatives, and other government stakeholders for an enriching data learning trip in Tanzania. Facilitated by PATH, the learning trip was hosted by the Government of Tanzania through the Arusha Region, Ministry of Health staff, and PATH’s BID Initiative, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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BID by the numbers: New data reveals time-savings, more empowered decision-making among health workers

BID by the numbers: New data reveals time-savings, more empowered decision-making among health workers

By Celina Kareiva, Communications Associate, BID Initiative

Posted in Monitoring & Evaluation, People, Policies & Practices, Products

Photo: PATH/Trevor Snapp. A health worker reviews immunization data in Tanzania.

This blog series launches the BID Story, and recounts our journey to design, develop, and implement data quality and use interventions in Tanzania and Zambia between 2014 and 2018.

Beatrice Owawa is a Reproductive and Child Health nurse at the Usa River Health Center in Tanzania, one of more than 1,500 health facilities implementing data quality and use interventions across Tanzania and Zambia in partnership with the BID Initiative. As she toggles between dashboards on her tablet, you would never know it, but Beatrice used to depend on pen and paper for documenting her facility’s immunization clinics.

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BID Story launches celebrating the transformative power of data and country ownership

By Laurie Werner, Global Director, BID Initiative

Posted in News, People, Policies & Practices, Products

This blog series launches the BID Story, and recounts our journey to design, develop, and implement data quality and use interventions in Tanzania and Zambia between 2014 and 2018.

Five years. Two electronic immunization registries (EIRs). Nineteen design countries who regularly input to the BID Learning Network. Study visits to Benin and Chile to learn from others implementing health information systems. More than half a million children registered in both EIRs, and 1,580 health facilities implementing data quality and use interventions, allowing health workers to collect, analyze, and act upon immunization data in real time.

It’s hard to believe that all this has been accomplished over the last five years – and the above milestones barely scratch the surface of the wins, challenges, and lessons from the last half a decade. This July marked the end of the original work of the BID Initiative. To mark the occasion, we’re launching the BID Story, a comprehensive account of our journey in partnering with Zambia and Tanzania to improve immunization data quality and use. The story includes personal perspectives from those involved in BID’s design and implementation, an infographic illustrating the impact of interventions, and a video capturing BID’s impact to date.

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Good data saves lives: How digital record-keeping is helping transform immunisation in Tanzania

By Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Posted in News, People, Policies & Practices, Practices

The following post appeared on Gavi’s Got Vaccines? Got Life! blog.

In the harsh, dry highland plains of the Ngorongoro region of Tanzania stands a small red tent – a tiny speck of colour in an otherwise dusty, lifeless landscape.

It can be seen from several kilometres away, and that is precisely the point. Because even before Bakari Shemagembe, the local Assistant Medical Officer, and his team have finished setting up around the tent, the local Maasai tribespeople start to arrive, trickling in from all directions, drawn towards this beacon.

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Reflections from the inaugural OpenHIE Community Meeting: Learning, sharing, growing, and innovating

Reflections from the inaugural OpenHIE Community Meeting: Learning, sharing, growing, and innovating

By Amanda BenDor, Paul Biondich, Carl Fourie, Eden Tarimo, and Jamie Thomas

Posted in News, Policies & Practices, Products

Photo: PATH/Chimwasu Njapawu. A health worker checks immunization data on a tablet.

The following post appeared on the OpenHIE blog.

Organizing an international five-day meeting for a diverse digital health community is no easy task. There are venues to secure, agendas to develop, and invitation letters to draft. Yet the leaders and innovators of the OpenHIE community were driven to ensure that we all had a place where we could gather to get to know and learn from each other about health information exchange.

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BID launches generic tools to help other likeminded countries implement data quality and use interventions

BID launches generic tools to help other likeminded countries implement data quality and use interventions | Better Immunization Data InitiativeBID launches generic tools to help other likeminded countries implement data quality and use interventions

By Laurie Werner, Global Director, BID Initiative

Posted in Packaging, Practices

Photo: PATH/Trevor Snapp. A young patient holds a child health cared.

Though data quality and use interventions must be tailored to meet the different needs of countries and health contexts, many implementation tools can be recycled, modified, and reapplied. BID is committed to helping other countries avoid the costly and time-consuming ramp-up often required of projects, and so has developed a generic set of tools based on its experience in Tanzania and Zambia.

They fall under three main categories:

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New immunization data reveals state of the field and the important role of data in vaccination

By Celina Kareiva, Communications Associate, BID Initiative

Posted in Monitoring & Evaluation, News, Policies & Practices

Photo credit: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/Riccardo Gangale. Women and children wait for vaccinations at the Ngarenaro Health Center in Arusha, Tanzania.

Last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) released new immunization data from 2017 that reveals global progress toward immunization targets, and where countries and stakeholders are still falling short. Nine in 10 infants were vaccinated last year, or 123 million babies worldwide. But since 2015, the percentage of children around the world who have received the full three-dose course of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP3), has leveled out at 85 percent. DTP3 is a key indicator of immunization program performance.

In addition to stagnating DTP3 coverage, several life-saving vaccines have particularly low coverage rates. Rotavirus has global coverage rates of just 28 percent; pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) sits at 44 percent. And yet both vaccines have the potential to dramatically reduce under five deaths.

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