By Celina Kareiva, Communications Associate, BID Initiative
Nov 29, 2018
This blog series launches the BID Story, and recounts our journey to design, develop, and implement data quality and use interventions in Tanzania and Zambia between 2014 and 2018.
Beatrice Owawa is a Reproductive and Child Health nurse at the Usa River Health Center in Tanzania, one of more than 1,500 health facilities implementing data quality and use interventions across Tanzania and Zambia in partnership with the BID Initiative. As she toggles between dashboards on her tablet, you would never know it, but Beatrice used to depend on pen and paper for documenting her facility’s immunization clinics.
It once took her more than an hour and a half every vaccination session to reconcile her facility’s immunization program records – a task that has now been eliminated with the introduction of the Tanzania Immunization Registry (TImR). Each year she saves eight working days to TImR’s automatic reporting features.
“I’ve been provided with tools like the EIR and knowledge on how to use it in my day-to-day activities,” says Beatrice. “It’s simplified my work and now I have more time to serve many children at once.”
Data quality and use interventions have the potential to transform how countries report, collect, and act upon health data. And though we have long understood this anecdotally from the testimony of nurses like Beatrice, we have only recently begun to quantify this impact for the BID Initiative.
In Zambia, for instance, monitoring and evaluation surveys conducted before BID began rollout reveal that 53 percent of surveyed health workers reported missing data as a barrier to vaccinating children. Health workers are now more empowered than ever to use data for decision-making around immunization. In Zambia, they reported a 28 percent increase in their ability to identify areas with low vaccine coverage.
These numbers validate Beatrice’s story, and help us understand exactly how data quality and use interventions are benefiting health workers.
And this is only the beginning of what’s possible with the new information. Our team is using EIR data to answer burning questions about immunization. For instance, why are children vaccinated late, and why do they miss vaccines? What districts and health facilities require performance management? And what is required to move from piloting to scaling EIRs?
Check out our new infographic for an overview of some of these exciting data trends. For a more comprehensive account of BID’s impact, read our monitoring and evaluation reports from Tanzania and Zambia, and keep an eye on our blog and resources page as we launch some of these analyses in the coming months. Also, stay tuned as we have several upcoming publications planned in peer-reviewed journals.