Linking Health Facilities and Communities Improves Routine Immunization

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2018

The Universal Immunization through Improving Family Health Services (UI-FHS) project works to improve the routine immunization system in over 100 woredas (districts) in six regions of Ethiopia. The project works to operationalize Ethiopia’s national routine immunization strategy, Reaching Every District (RED), through technical assistance for immunization and by introducing Quality Improvement (QI) tools such as Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) performance improvement cycles. This combined approach is called RED-QI. This widespread implementation of RED-QI generated a strong interest within the project to explore both the uptake of the RED-QI approach and the experiences of project beneficiaries in using QI tools, particularly PDSA cycles, to locally identify and solve problems. To understand this, in 2016, UI-FHS carried out qualitative research in three UI-FHS-supported woredas in three regions of Ethiopia, conducting interviews with 27 key informants, facilitating 12 focus group discussions, and reviewing facility documents. This brief focuses on key findings, highlighting how the RED-QI approach encouraged greater facility-community linkages through engagement in PDSA cycles