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In August, BLN participants will travel to Chile to exchange learnings

By Catherine Muyawala, BLN Community Coordinator, BID Initiative and Chilunga Puta, BLN Director, BID Initiative

Jun 26, 2017

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Photo: PATH/Fred Njobvu. BLN participant from Nigeria take notes during a recent study visit to Benin. Study visits present an opportunity for peer learning.

This August, in collaboration with the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), the BID Learning Network (BLN) will travel to Santiago, Chile to exchange lessons on electronic immunization registries and data management systems. The trip, planned for August 22 through 25, will mark the first visit outside of BLN countries. Chile’s Registro National de Immunizaciones, or RNI, was developed in 2009, following a vaccination campaign to curb the AH1N1 flu pandemic that ravaged South America. Globally, H1N1, or swine flu, as it’s more commonly known, killed 18,449 people. In Chile, the outbreak was considered a national emergency. With more than 12,000 confirmed cases and 156 deaths, it provided a push for the implementation of the RNI to better track campaign coverage.

Chile’s RNI platform was designed to monitor the Ministry of Health’s immunization policies, and includes features such as the online consolidation of data, defaulter tracing, and registration of routine and vaccination campaign doses, both in the country’s public and private health facilities. RNI allows for instant reviews of campaign coverage and provides valuable information for decision-making.

“Obtaining and maintaining good data quality to inform decision-making for national EPI’s has been a top priority for PAHO countries over the past decade,” said Gabriela Felix, Immunization Specialist for PAHO-WHO. “PAHO is excited to work with PATH on the cross-pollination and sharing of lessons and ideas among countries from the Region of Americas with other Regions of the WHO.”

BLN country participants, many who are in the process of adopting electronic immunization registries of their own, have the opportunity to draw from Chile’s learnings and apply best practices to their home countries.

“PATH and PAHO share common goals,” explained Catherine Muyawala, BLN Community Coordinator. “An area of significant synergy is in the improvement of data access, quality and use to improve health care service delivery.”

Study visits such as this one enable national EPI managers and eHealth professionals to visit and learn from countries that have successfully designed and implemented data management interventions. BLN’s peer learning model fosters professional networks between BLN participants and others who work in similar fields. A practical example is the overlap between the BID Initiative and the PAHO-led Improving Data Quality for Immunization (IDQi) project, two initiatives with the common goal of advancing data quality and use to improve vaccination coverage. The BID Initiative and PAHO recognize the value of sharing their learnings to inform and shape future data system challenges.

During the upcoming trip to Chile, BLN members will have an opportunity to take part in site visits to witness the system in action, and participate in discussions with Chile’s MoH data management team, among other stakeholders. Past study visits have included a trip to Benin, in West Africa.

To learn more about the study visit, and the trip itinerary, consult the BLN concept note. Applications are open to all BLN participants, and are due June 30. Check back here for coverage of the trip.

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