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Category: Policies & Practices

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

Jun 26, 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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Goodbye paper: How Tanzania is leapfrogging the digital divide

Mar 4, 2019

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

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

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

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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