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National Electronic Immunization Registry Inception Meeting

By Hassan Mtenga, Project Manager, BID Initiative

Jan 19, 2015

Posted in

In late 2014, the BID initiative and Tanzania Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW), through its Immunization and Vaccine Development (IVD) program, agreed to develop a national electronic immunization registry. The BID Initiative contracted IntraHealth to develop this intervention, which will help solve prioritized immunization challenges including the inaccurate denominator, lack of unique identification for children, inability to trace defaulters or unvaccinated children, and lack of data visibility across all levels of the health system.

In early January, the BID initiative team in Tanzania, together with the MoHSW, hosted a kickoff meeting to discuss the process of establishing Tanzania’s landmark electronic immunization registry. Along with representatives from IntraHealth, ecGroup, AIRIS Solution, CDC Tanzania and other partners, we convened to establish a common understanding and vision on how the Tanzania electronic immunization registry should function, taking into account Tanzania’s multi-sectoral needs and leveraging existing efforts from other partners. The meeting sought to:

  • Obtain the necessary and shared understanding of project requirements and proposed solutions.
  • Obtain a firm understanding of the project tasks, context, and constraints.
  • Understand communication channels and how to handle communication between PATH and IntraHealth.
  • Discuss roles and responsibilities for all tasks and how they should change, if needed, in order to keep work fluid, but accountable.
  • Obtain an understanding of how team members will use the management software.
  • And finalize a work plan, GANTT and RACI charts.

This inception meeting proved to be very productive for the MoHSW in terms of identifying country-specific needs that map back to its eHealth strategic direction. For others, the meeting provided an opportunity to hear our vision for this project and understand the tasks ahead and the requirements needed for success.

There was agreement between all parties that the immunization system will be developed within the OpenHIE framework, adopting global standards with open-source solutions. While the framework will initially be utilized by the immunization program, it should be designed to eventually accommodate other health program needs like Malaria, HIV, TB, and family planning, among others. The system should also communicate and share information with DHIS2 and in the near future, share and access information in Shared Health Record (SHR), which is a built-in feature of the OpenHIE framework.

The system development will take two weeks of iterations and the User Advisory Group will take part in system testing and the final User Acceptance Test (UAT) before system development is finalized. We hope to go live with a basic immunization registry system come the end of March 2015 and a fully functional system in the third quarter of 2015.

As a result of this meeting and through this work, the BID Initiative believes that the sun will be right above us to light the overburdened immunization health worker and saves lives of innocent children in Tanzania through improved performance of immunization services.


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