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Tanzania’s digital leadership drives partnerships with JSI, others

May 3, 2018

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To be truly successful, data quality and use interventions must be scalable and able to be implemented across different settings with different people and partners beyond the BID Initiative. We are pleased to see these partnerships already taking shape with, for instance, the Catholic Medical Mission Board in Zambia’s Western Province, where the country’s electronic immunization registery is now in use in nine health facilities. Most recently, BID has collaborated with John Snow, Inc.’s (JSI) inSupply project to rollout TImR in Dodoma Region.

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Celebrating progress and looking ahead this World Immunization Week

Apr 27, 2018

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During a recent visit, Regina Chilekwa, a nurse at Mahatma Gandhi Clinic in Livingstone, Zambia, sat with a patient and talked her through the vaccines her young son needed to keep him protected. Every year, at the end of April, the global health community celebrates World Immunization Week, a chance to spotlight the incredible potential of vaccines, progress toward closing the immunization gap, and advocate for the gains that still must be made. Closing the immunization gap requires all hands-on deck. And while coverage has improved greatly in the last few decades, it has recently stagnated. Twenty percent of children still face barriers to vaccination, ranging from a lack of access to services, to weak health information systems, long travel times between facilities, and vaccine stockouts.

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Promising technologies for closing the immunization gap

Apr 13, 2018

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Later this month, the global health community will celebrate World Immunization Week, a chance to acknowledge our progress and spread awareness about the collective action needed to ensure that everyone is protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. Achieving full immunization coverage will require better insight into which children are missing out on lifesaving vaccines. Digital innovations are one possible solution. These technologies and big data can help identify patients that are the hardest to reach, predict the spread of disease, and hone vaccination campaigns.

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Honoring data use champions for World Health Worker Week

Apr 5, 2018

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This week is World Health Worker Week (WHWW), and the BID Initiative is taking this opportunity to celebrate the individuals on the frontlines who are implementing data quality and use interventions. They are often the backbones of their health systems and their communities’ most trusted source of information for preventing, treating, and managing diseases. 

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Success rolls out in Southern Province

Mar 29, 2018

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When Fred Njobvu, Provincial Coordinator for the BID Initiative in Zambia, looks back on January 2017, he wasn’t sure how the team would manage to roll out data quality and use interventions to the remaining districts in Southern Province. “We were running out of time in our grant,” remembers Fred, “and we needed to deliver interventions to the rest of the province.”

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Planning for compasses, not maps: BID celebrates a culture of learning, applies principles of adaptive management

Mar 16, 2018

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Beatrice Owawa’s fingers dance across the screen of her tablet. She nimbly jumps from one window to the next, as she checks vaccine records and stock levels in the Tanzania Immunization Registry (TImR) at Usa River Health Center in Arusha, where she works as a medical attendant. When Beatrice pulls up a list of young patients who have recently missed their vaccines, she takes down their names and contact information and begins to call their caregivers. It may seem unremarkable, but the task of identifying patients who have fallen through the cracks used to be nearly impossible. Before TImR, Beatrice relied on paper registries to track “defaulters,” or patients who had missed a life-saving vaccine.

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Pressing for progress: BID celebrates International Women’s Day

Mar 9, 2018

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International Women’s Day is an opportunity to reflect on the role health plays in setting a foundation for girls’ and women’s progress and success. It’s a chance to celebrate both the leaders and the ordinary women who contribute to change; and to emphasize the importance of gender equality. Investing in women’s health and economic freedom helps to break the cycle of poverty, raises Gross Domestic Product, and leads to lasting social gains. This year’s theme is #PressforProgress, and comes on the heels of significant global movements, such as #MeToo, #NiUnaMenos, and countless others. During this year’s advocacy day we celebrate the many women within the BID Initiative family.

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Health workers in Tanzania become data use champions, set national example

Mar 1, 2018

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When the BID Initiative first began working in Tanzania to introduce data quality and use interventions alongside the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MOHCDGEC), using data was not an everyday practice for most health care workers (HCWs). Many were more excited about the new devices such as the electronic immunization registry, than they were about using this information to improve decision-making. After implementing a change management strategy and thorough training led by district officials, HCWs began to realize the value of using data for decision-making. They began asking: Where do I find all the registered and vaccinated children? What should I do if a child misses a vaccine and I have a red alert on my coverage report? And how do I find children scheduled for vaccination the following month?

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Planning for compasses, not maps: The potential of adaptive management for international development

Feb 23, 2018

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International development has historically followed a top-down process that implements a static set of interventions guided by standardized practices, even as programs fail and circumstances change. But progress isn’t always linear. It’s often two steps forward and one step back – and sometimes it moves sideways.

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BID partners with Catholic Medical Mission Board to expand to nine health facilities in Western Province

Feb 16, 2018

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The Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB) is a charity that has operated in Zambia since 1965 with the specific mandate to deliver sustainable, quality health solutions to women and children. In Zambia, CMMB works in Central, Copperbelt, Luapula, Lusaka, Northwestern and Western provinces under four projects in the health and community development sectors. CMMB’s decision to partner with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the BID Initiative to roll out the Zambia Electronic Immunisation Registry (ZEIR) to several health facilities in Western Province was a natural extension of its mission to benefit children in the province.

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