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In Zambia, BID partners with UNICEF to reach more children with life-saving vaccines

May 9, 2019

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Partnership is at the core of the BID Initiative’s success. In an effort to reach more children with life-saving vaccines, BID has partnered with UNICEF in Zambia to integrate two highly effective immunization platforms – the Zambia Electronic Immunization Registry (ZEIR) and mVacc, a UNICEF-supported mobile vaccination initiative that aims to increase awareness, improve access, and sustain use of immunization services through an SMS-based platform.

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Tanzania makes history as first facilities retire paper immunization registers

Apr 25, 2019

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Aziz Seif Ahmed works as a reproductive and child health nurse in Mikanjuni health center, one of the busiest clinics in Tanga municipal council, vaccinating about 370 children a month. Each month, Aziza used to spend more than 10 hours compiling and completing monthly immunization reports, and more or less the same number of hours compiling and completing child health monthly summary reports in the HMIS Book 7 to report to DHIS2. She often worked evenings and weekends to cross-reference stock ledgers, meticulously count opened vaccine vials, add tallies, and then carefully inscribe the information. It was a pain-staking process and just a few human errors from her miscalculations or the inaccurate recording of data might have serious consequences. This sometimes translated into insufficient vaccine stock and required that Aziza turn patients away for lifesaving vaccines.

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Dr. Tove Ryman: Digital tools usher in a data revolution for health workers on the front lines

Apr 17, 2019

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With the tap of her finger, Neema Temu can easily toggle between two estimates of immunization coverage within her catchment area. A health worker at Monduli Hospital in Arusha, Tanzania, she cheerfully demonstrates her new electronic immunization registry to Dr. Tove Ryman—Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and technical lead of the BID Initiative.

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Increasing immunization coverage requires better use of better data

Apr 2, 2019

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Global funders, country policymakers, and immunization program implementers know that the use of high-quality data is a cornerstone of well-functioning immunization programs. When high-quality data is available, public health decision-makers can understand which populations are underserved and where resources can be allocated most effectively. Immunization coverage rates have improved over the past few decades, but they have plateaued around 80 percent. The challenge with reaching the last 20 percent of children is to know who they are and where they are, which requires easily accessible and accurate data along with the capacity to interpret that data to take action.

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Tanzania at forefront of digital transformation thanks to government leadership

Mar 21, 2019

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Dr. Dafrossa Lyimo has experienced Tanzania’s digital transformation as both a mother and a health professional. As a mother to four children, she understands the long distances children often travel for a life-saving vaccine and the disappointment of being turned away because of vaccine stock-outs, among other factors. As Tanzania’s Immunization and Vaccination Development Manager, she knows the consequences of missing, inaccurate, and untimely data to inform her decisions, particularly on where and when vaccines are most needed. In both roles, she has championed the use of data to improve immunization services.

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Artificial intelligence for good: using machine learning to close the immunization gap

Mar 5, 2019

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Electronic immunization registries (EIRs) offer a comprehensive solution to closing the immunization gap. With more than 1,600 health facilities using data quality and use interventions and half a million children registered in EIRs in Tanzania and Zambia, the BID Initiative is on the frontlines of the digital revolution. Thanks to strong government leadership, Tanzania and Zambia maintain some of the most robust vaccine data sets on the African continent. Step aside Silicon Valley, Zambia and Tanzania are ushering global health into the era of artificial intelligence (AI).

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Goodbye paper: How Tanzania is leapfrogging the digital divide

Mar 4, 2019

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Tanzania is an early adopter of digital tools and technology. Here’s how that’s strengthened its national health system and established Tanzania as a leader in the global digital health revolution.

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Dr. Francis Dien Mwansa: EPI manager celebrates ‘my system’ – how country partnerships have defined BID’s success

Feb 19, 2019

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In July 2017, the Zambia Ministry of Health (MOH) and the BID Initiative hosted a showcase event to demonstrate the data quality and use interventions that had been collaboratively developed in an iterative process since 2014. During this event, a health worker from Monze in Southern Province shared his experience with data use tools, such as the Zambia Electronic Immunization Registry (ZEIR).

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Matt Berg: The catalytic potential of rapid, iterative software development

Jan 31, 2019

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Matt Berg, the CEO of Ona, a Nairobi- and Vermont-based technology company, remembers one of the first immunization clinics he witnessed in Livingstone, Zambia. As a long queue of patients waited to be vaccinated, three health workers and one community health volunteer busied themselves with that day’s work. The community health volunteer weighed children, placing infants into a hanging canvas scale. Two nurses sat at a desk, immunization-related papers fanned out before them. As one pored over a paper registry, the other recorded data on a tally sheet and updated the child’s immunization card. A third nurse administered vaccines inside the clinic.

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Uganda’s immunization program officials and civil society representatives share experiences, learn about Tanzania’s electronic immunization system

Dec 26, 2018

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Uganda, like many other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa faces a number of health-related challenges. At the same time, the country has dramatically improved health outcomes through several initiatives, particularly for maternal and child health. As a signatory to the Addis Declaration on Immunization, Uganda has taken measures to improve immunization outcomes, including establishing an immunization law, increasing domestic financing, and embracing innovations, such as electronic immunization systems.

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