Developing What Works Best
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Category: Policies & Practices

The key to better primary health care? Human-centered design

Sep 10, 2019

Human-centered design is an approach to problem-solving that puts people first. Their needs, their constraints, their contexts and their perspectives. It focuses on users—not necessarily what designers, researchers, or others think users need.

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BLN members convene in Lusaka to trade learnings, share progress on digital journey

Aug 28, 2019

Members of the BID Learning Network (BLN) and Gavi Data Quality and Use (DQU) Collaborative met in Lusaka, Zambia last month  from July 24 to 26 to share experiences from their respective countries, partner to overcome their challenges around immunization service delivery, and further develop and refine their data quality improvement (DQI) plans. Attendees included country representatives from The Gambia, Mozambique, Liberia, Uganda, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Malawi, and Zambia. Each country is at a slightly different place in their efforts to adopt data quality and use interventions to improve immunization, and so were paired throughout the meeting for peer review of their country plans.

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New publication defines building blocks for a successful electronic immunization registry

Aug 13, 2019

The BID Initiative has just released an exciting new publication that will benefit other countries interested in implementing their own electronic immunization registries (EIRs). In the new journal article, “Electronic immunization registries in Tanzania and Zambia: Shaping a minimum viable product for scaled solutions,” which appeared in the multi-disciplinary, open-access journal, Frontiers in Public Health, BID hopes to help other countries avoid the costly, time-consuming, and complex ramp-up often required of these digital platforms.  

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Preparing the health workforce to make the most of data

Aug 5, 2019

For nearly thirty years as a health worker in Tanzania, Salome has used pen and paper to record patient data. A digital transformation promises to streamline her work and improve patient care.

Digital health solutions increase data quality and accessibility, but to be effective and improve patient outcomes, health workers must know how to make the most of the information. For many like Salome, Tanzania’s digital transformation will require retraining and developing new digital literacy skills.

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Global knowledge sharing: New PATH IDEAL-Vietnam project collaborates with BID Initiative

Jul 31, 2019

Vaccinations have saved the lives of more children than any other medical intervention in the past 50 years, and an effective immunization approach is a critical factor in the eradication of disease. To be effective, however, doses must be administered at the appropriate intervals. Prior to 2012, all of Vietnam’s immunization records were paper-based. Time consuming, laborious, prone to errors, and a barrier to efficient vaccine stock management, this system was making it difficult to ensure children and pregnant women were getting the timely protection they needed to defend them from dangerous but preventable diseases.

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BID expands to five more regions in Tanzania, accelerating progress

Jun 13, 2019

In Tanzania, the government expanded data quality and use interventions to five more regions, including Mwanza, Njombe, Morogoro, Geita and Lindi. The Tanzania electronic immunization registry (TImR) is now being used in nine regions and 2,060 facilities in 66 districts across the country. It’s an exciting milestone for the BID Initiative because it represents the largest number of regions to implement data quality and use interventions in the shortest period of time.

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Aziza Ahmed Seif: Health workers make history as first in Tanzania to retire paper registers

May 30, 2019

In March 2018, Aziza Ahmed Seif and her fellow nurses at the Mikanjuni Health Center in Tanga, Tanzania, made history. They, along with workers at 32 other health facilities in Tanga, retired the thick paper immunization registers they had spent their entire nursing careers using and embraced a digital system that places a universe of data at their fingertips. They traded pen and paper for a tablet framed by colorful data visualizations, swapped crowded tally sheets for a simplified stock management module, and replaced the long evenings of record-keeping that used to characterize immunization clinics with a series of automated reports.

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Tanzania makes history as first facilities retire paper immunization registers

Apr 25, 2019

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

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

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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