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Health Workers Meet the BID Initiative

By Tara Newton, Communications Associate, BID Initiative

Aug 14, 2015

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Photo: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. A nurse uses the new electronic immunization registry on a new tablet at the Ngarenaro Health Center in Arusha.

The BID Initiative is rolling out interventions to 253 health facilities in the Arusha region over the course of this year and into early 2016. We have successfully completed the first facility visits in the Arusha City Council district and are now beginning in Meru district. We often get questions on what goes into our site visits and how we practically begin rolling out a comprehensive initiative of this scale.

During the first of five visits to each facility, the BID Initiative team carries out a number of activities to introduce the initiative, set expectations, familiarize staff with the new tools and trainings resources, and back-enter data from existing registries and reports.

To start, our implementation specialists give an overview of the BID Initiative intervention package including an implementation timeline so health workers are aware of what to expect over the next few months. The team explains the new equipment including laptops, tablets (for high-volume facilities), and barcode scanners; and trains the staff on the new electronic immunization system through demonstrations and micro-training videos.

Photo: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Nurses digitally scan the barcode on child health cards to verify which vaccinations are needed at the Ngarenaro Health Center in Arusha.

Critical to the implementation of the new national electronic immunization registry, our team also captures nine months of data from the existing paper registers to back-enter into the system. Additionally, photos are taken of the previous monthly reports, stock ledgers and tally sheets to have available while we implement the new system which auto-generates reports.

To encourage the health workers to adopt these new tools and use the data, our team introduces posters that reinforce the value of data-use and are placed in the facility. They also add health workers to the WhatsApp group and explain how peer networking with other health workers at nearby facilities can not only help ease the process of adopting these new products and practices, but solve problems such as vaccine supply stock outs.

Photo: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Nurse Olivia Mlemeta at Usa River Health Center near Arusha checks a WhatsApp message in a group conversation with other nurses in the area.

Today, we held our first progress review meeting with the Arusha City Council district officials and key stakeholders discussing lessons learned and how we will optimize our strategy moving into the next facility visits. We will continue to hold these meetings throughout the implementation phase to assure all expectations are aligned.

Follow along with our progress as we visit each facility in Arusha region to ensure that tools are successfully implemented and that the staff are trained in how to use the immunization data collected. With these new tools and practices, health workers will be able to make informed decisions and better deliver their services to reach more children with life-protecting vaccines.


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