In recent times of resource constraints, good governance, transparency and accountability have become the mantra of development, and consequently more attention is given to strengthening evidence-based decision-making and information systems. Also, the emphasis on tracking Millennium Development Goals (van Etten et al. 2005) and the practice of performance-based release of funding requested by international funding agencies, such as the Global Alliance on Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria (GFTAM), require increasing amounts of quality information. This trend is reinforced in the health sector by emerging infectious diseases and environmental disasters, which need timely information for action.
Articles in this issue show clearly the enormous impact that the use of health information technology can have on the quality of health care for children. However, they also point out the challenges that need to be overcome to realize fully the potential of health information technology to improve the quality and efficiency of health care.
Substantial resources have been invested in increasing childhood immunisation coverage through global initiatives such as the Universal Childhood Immunisation (UCI) campaign and the Global Alliance on Vaccines and Immunisations (GAVI). There are longstanding concerns that target-oriented and performance-oriented initiatives such as UCI and GAVI's immunisation services support (ISS) might encourage over-reporting. We estimated the coverage of three doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine (DTP3) based on surveys using all available data.
The European Space Agency (“ESA”) commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (“PwC”) to undertake an independent analysis of the costs and benefits for investment in satellite-enhanced telemedicine and eHealth services to support public health policy objectives in sub-Saharan Africa. The overarching aim of this study has been to demonstrate the illustrative additional economic benefits of using satellite technology to extend the reach of telemedicine and eHealth services to the rural and most isolated areas of sub-Saharan Africa.
The purpose of this Guide is to stimulate interest in improving and sustaining high levels of immunisation coverage in all districts and to give health program managers (governmental and non-governmental), supervisors and health workers practical information about the RED approach. The Guide is intended for adaptation and use by national immunization programmes, as one of several resources that can be used to introduce district health teams and immunisation partners to the RED approach. Once adapted, it can also be used by district health teams and health workers as a quick reference to the five RED components and core monitoring indicators. Another important use for the Guide may be in explaining RED to local officials and other potential supporters of immunisation and PHC services.
This paper reviews the experience of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) in introducing hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccines in the poorest countries, and explores how financing for immunization has changed since GAVI Fund resources were made available during its first wave of support between 2000 and 2006. The analysis of Financial Sustainability Plans in 50 countries allowed for some of the original funding assumptions of the GAVI approach to be tested against the realities in a wide set of countries, and to highlight implications for future immunization efforts. While the initial GAVI experience with financial sustainability has proved successful through the development of plans, and many countries have been able to both introduce new vaccines and mobilize additional financing for immunization, for future GAVI supported vaccine introduction, some country co-financing of these will be needed upfront for the approach to be more sustainable.
Globally, immunization services have been the center of renewed interest with increased funding to improve services, acceleration of the introduction of new vaccines, and the development of a health systems approach to improve vaccine delivery. Much of the credit for the increased attention is due to the work of the GAVI Alliance and to new funding streams. If routine immunization programs are to take full advantage of the newly available resources, managers need to understand the range of proven strategies and approaches to deliver vaccines to reduce the incidence of diseases. In this paper, we present strategies that may be used at the sub-national level to improve routine immunization programs.
Country health officials and donors have increasingly realized that resources allocated to health will not achieve their intended results without attention to governance. Particularly as global programs inject huge amounts of funding targeting specific diseases, weaknesses in health system governance threaten to undermine the effective utilization of the funds. Corruption is perhaps the most dramatic governance-related threat, but in addition poor accountability and transparency, weak incentives for responsiveness and performance, and limited engagement of citizens in health affairs contribute to low levels of system effectiveness as well.
Biometrics refers to the automatic identification of human beings based on their physical and/or behavioural characteristics (Bio = life + Metrics = measurement). These characteristics present some specific properties such as, uniqueness and persistency, making them suitable for this kind of task. Examples of physical characteristics include among others: fingerprints, face, iris, retina, and hand geometry. On the other hand, examples of behavioural characteristics include: signature, voice, keystroke dynamics, etc. The purpose of this book is to serve as an introductory source of information for people interested in Biometrics.