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Tanzania UAG – Members Prove their Commitment to the BID Initiative

By Mwanaidi Msangi, Communications Associate, BID Initiative

Dec 17, 2014

Posted in

The BID Initiative’s User Advisory Group (UAG) plays a critical role in the design, fine-tuning and prioritization of proposed solutions and interventions to improve immunization data quality, collection, and use. The Tanzania UAG recently convened in Arusha to review the testing phase results and discuss lessons learned. The meeting was a success as UAG members expressed their commitments and readiness to the BID Initiative and National Immunization and Vaccination Development Program (IVD) to assure interventions are successfully implemented and sustained.

The meeting was opened by IVD Program Manager, Dr. Dafrosa Lyimo, who emphasized the need to ensure proposed solutions are successfully rolled out in all health facilities in the region and potentially across the country. She mentioned that Arusha provides a clear example of Tanzania’s existing immunization data challenges and discussed ideas on how to overcome these challenges with the IVD Program in partnership with the BID Initiative:

Data should be used to make evidenced-based decisions to improve immunization service delivery. The success of this initiative will help us to identify best and proven ways to collect and use immunization data for decision making.” – Dr. Dafrosa Lyimo, IVD Program Manager.

Members commended the BID Initiative for involving them from the initial stages of the process and expressed their full support to utilize all suggested interventions including, but not limited to:

  • Registering children via SMS messages to an online form.
  • Using electronic immunization registers in high-volume facilities.
  • Creating paper versions of electronic immunization registers and scanning them at the district level into the electronic register for facilities without reliable access to electricity.
  • Using barcodes on child health cards.

Members also agreed to reach at-home birth children and communities who do not participate in immunization programs—including street children—and to provide education on the importance of immunization.

Members provided input on our work plan presented by the BID Initiative Tanzania Director, Dr. Henry Mwanyika. He explained that phase one implementation is planned for February 2015 when we will begin pilot testing baseline tools in 20 facilities followed by the roll out to 270 facilities in all districts in the Arusha region.

All local government authority leaders in the Arusha district will be sensitized on the BID Initiative activities before kick off as their involvement is vital to our success.

UAG members were tasked with providing support to other health workers on immunization data collection and to be ready to share their experiences and challenges. Dr. Mwanyika thanked all UAG members for their continued support and we look forward to the next UAG meeting in early 2015.

 

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