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Tag: Tanzania

Good data saves lives: How digital record-keeping is helping transform immunisation in Tanzania

Oct 25, 2018

In the harsh, dry highland plains of the Ngorongoro region of Tanzania stands a small red tent – a tiny speck of colour in an otherwise dusty, lifeless landscape. It can be seen from several kilometres away, and that is precisely the point. Because even before Bakari Shemagembe, the local Assistant Medical Officer, and his team have finished setting up around the tent, the local Maasai tribespeople start to arrive, trickling in from all directions, drawn towards this beacon.

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Reflections from the inaugural OpenHIE Community Meeting: Learning, sharing, growing, and innovating

Oct 3, 2018

Organizing an international five-day meeting for a diverse digital health community is no easy task. There are venues to secure, agendas to develop, and invitation letters to draft. Yet the leaders and innovators of the OpenHIE community were driven to ensure that we all had a place where we could gather to get to know and learn from each other about health information exchange.

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Tanzania and Vietnam forge South-South learning exchange to advance electronic immunization systems

Jul 19, 2018

Last month, PATH’s Vietnam office and delegates from the country’s Ministry of Health had the opportunity to learn from the BID Initiative in Tanzania. The learning exchange is part of a new South-South partnership forged between two countries implementing electronic immunization registries (EIR). To date, BID and the government of Tanzania have rolled out to four regions, with ten more planned for 2018. In Vietnam, PATH’s pilot EIR, called ImmReg, was first developed and tested in 2012, before expanding into the National Immunization Information System (NIIS), which was launched in 2017. Last month’s visit was a chance to deepen this partnership and trade lessons about the challenges and successes of securing government buy-in and building health system capacity for EIRs.

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Tanzania migrates data from TIIS to TImR

Feb 7, 2018

Progress and growth is often a nonlinear process. Sometimes it’s accompanied by significant gains and great leaps forward, and other times it is slow and steady. In keeping with this trajectory, the BID Initiative’s mission to improve data quality and data use in Tanzania and Zambia has – at times – been a rollercoaster of a ride. But both our successes and challenges have helped us get to where we are today.

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“It doesn’t have to be like ripping off a Band-Aid”: Transitioning from paper to digital records

Jan 24, 2018

During the 2017 Global Digital Health Forum session on Injecting Digital Technology into Old-School Immunization Systems, Dawn Seymour from PATH discussed the value of electronic immunization registries. Despite the benefits of such registries, including more accurate data, she and her colleagues Sang Dao Dinh and Hieu Tran explained some challenges when transitioning from legacy, paper-based systems in Zambia, Tanzania, and Vietnam to digital versions.

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Building for sustainability: A Q&A about BID’s total cost of ownership tool

Nov 16, 2017

In order to achieve the long-term sustainability of data quality and data use interventions countries and governments must understand the financial investment to develop, implement, and sustain such tools as Tanzania’s and Zambia’s electronic immunization registries (EIRs). This information can help governments budget for and plan for expansion. We caught up with BID’s Senior Health Economist, Mercy Mvundura, to better understand the role of a total cost of ownership (TCO) tool and how it will benefit other countries interested in implementing their own digital health initiatives.

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Scaling data quality and data use interventions at the NetHope Summit

Nov 2, 2017

Last week, the BID Initiative traveled to Vancouver, Canada to present at the annual NetHope Global Summit. Between October 23-27, more than 300 representatives from across the global health sector, leading technology companies, and funding organizations gathered to address a common goal: the power and promise of technology to address the problems and potential of humanity.

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Completion of Tanga marks new milestone for the BID Initiative

Oct 19, 2017

Last month, the BID Initiative completed its second region in Tanzania. Expansion to Tanga provided an opportunity to apply and test the efficacy of data quality and data use interventions, such as defaulter tracing to pinpoint which children had missed a vaccine. As a region with more rural communities, Tanga presented certain logistical challenges with mostly farmers, fishermen and a few pastoralist populations. Interventions were introduced in all 321 health facilities in the region and more than 55,000 children have been entered into the Tanzania Immunization Registry (TImR) in Tanga.

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Taking the BID Initiative to the TechNet conference

Oct 18, 2017

This week, the BID Initiative is headed to Cascais, Portugal for the 15th TechNet conference. We’re looking forward to showcasing the progress and lessons of the BID Initiative from the last four years. The TechNet Conference is led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF’s Immunization Supply Chain Hub and is co-organized by a multi-partner planning committee.
It brings together immunization professionals/managers, public health agents, development partners, experts, cold chain/vaccine manufacturers, and stakeholders from all around the world to discuss the latest developments in immunization practices and policy.

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Becoming data detectives: Health care workers find new meaning in numbers

Oct 4, 2017

Salome Mbegela was sifting through immunization records when she first noticed a discrepancy – a slight uptick in the number of children who had recently missed vaccines. “Defaulters” as they’re often known, are not uncommon in Arusha, Tanzania, where Salome is a reproductive and child health (RCH) nurse. Mothers often encounter long wait times at clinics, vaccine stock-outs that require they come back another day, and a burdensome commute to the nearest health facility.

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