Routine immunizations and new vaccine introductions are two of the best investments to improving people’s health around the globe. While the world has made incredible progress in providing access to lifesaving vaccines, without reliable, easy-to-access, and actionable data on the barriers impeding immunizations, coupled with trained data managers, stakeholders interested in improving immunization coverage are working with limited and often anecdotal data that may not correlate with the actual issues. Did a child miss a vaccine because the health center had a stockout? Or because the caregiver did not know the child was due?
Led by PATH, the BID Initiative is grounded in the belief that better data, plus better decisions, will lead to better health outcomes. Since 2013, BID has partnered with the governments of Tanzania and Zambia to address the most critical routine immunization service delivery problems through improved data collection, quality, and use.
BID worked with country partners to design, test, and roll out a holistic suite of interventions that are flexible enough to apply to other countries and health areas:
- Electronic immunization registry (EIR) integrated with a supply chain information system.
- Automated, simplified report generation and visualization.
- Data use campaigns.
- Peer support networks and targeted supervision for health workers.
- Barcodes or QR on child health cards and vaccine supplies to help uniquely identify patients and track vaccine stocks.
- Dashboards to monitor facility and neighboring facility performance.
Since 2014, the BID Initiative has successfully designed, implemented, and scaled up data quality and use interventions in Tanzania and Zambia. As a growing number of governments embrace the important role of health information systems, BID and its country-led peer learning network, the BID Learning Network, are leveraging experiences in Tanzania and Zambia to partner with select African countries to improve data availability, quality, and use in immunization. BID has introduced a regional mentorship program that pairs technical experts from its implementation in Tanzania and Zambia with country focal point persons to advise on the development and implementation of EIRs, change management strategies, and other data quality and use interventions.
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