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Honoring data use champions for World Health Worker Week

By Celina Kareiva, Communications Associate, BID Initiative

Apr 5, 2018

Posted in

Photo: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/Riccardo Gangale. A nurse distributes vaccines to children in Arusha, Tanzania.

This week is World Health Worker Week (WHWW), and the BID Initiative is taking this opportunity to celebrate the individuals on the frontlines who are implementing data quality and use interventions. They are often the backbones of their health systems and their communities’ most trusted source of information for preventing, treating, and managing diseases.

But too often they are undervalued and overworked. Research suggests that health care workers (HCWs) encounter high rates of burnout and turnover. WHWW is an opportunity to celebrate these local champions. BID is proud to be working with the governments of Tanzania and Zambia to advance interventions that not only improve data quality and use in immunization service delivery, but that improve HCW workloads by eliminating cumbersome and complex paper reporting forms. Furthermore, digital tools help empower HCWs to more meaningfully interpret the data they collect and use on a daily basis.

These local heroes include women like Aziza Ahmed Seif, a nurse at Mikanjuni Health Center in Tanga, Tanzania, who used to dread writing reports at the end of the month, after immunization clinics. It took many hours to compile the reports by hand.

“I’m very excited by the auto-generated reports [in the Tanzania Electronic Immunization Register]. All I need to do is ensure that I’ve entered all records of children during clinic and, at the end of the day, the report is taken care of for me.”

For HCWs like Regina Chilekwa, the data at her fingertips in the Zambia Electronic Immunization Register enables better follow-up, and helps her plan for the future.

“The electronic registry is good because we’re trying to capture every child that comes to the clinic. When we capture that, it shows you the next date for the vaccine. So if the mother has missed that date, it will give us a hint to say this mother has missed [a vaccine],” explains Regina. “We get the phone number and we’re able to trace the mother where she is.”

Photo: PATH/Chimwasu Njapawu. World Health Worker Week is a chance to celebrate the nurses championing data quality and use interventions under BID.

WHWW is a chance to acknowledge and elevate HCWs in communities across the world. Maybe most importantly, it’s an opportunity to address some of the challenges they face in their day-to-day responsibilities. BID relied heavily on HCW input for the design of data quality and use interventions to ensure the solutions would empower them to deliver the best possible care.

Follow us on Twitter and join the conversation using #WHWWeek for more coverage this WHWW.

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