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User Advisory Group Established in Zambia

By Fred Shamakondo Njobvu, Provincial Coordinator Zambia, BID Initiative

Dec 24, 2014

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We recently established a User Advisory Group (UAG) in the Livingstone District of Zambia! Similar to the Tanzania UAG, this group will play a critical role in the design and iteration of proposed solutions and interventions. The goal is to improve immunisation data quality, collection and use addressing the various challenges identified by the EPI program and other stakeholders in the district.

The Livingstone District is home to more than 160,000 people with 85 percent of the population living in urban areas and 15 percent in peri-urban areas. Of this population, 20 percent are children under five who require unique programs such as immunisation, nutrition, deworming, Vitamin A supplements and follow-up for exposed babies.

The new Livingstone District UAG consists of 13 members from a variety of staff in different of levels of the health system working in immunisation. Specifically, the group is made up of the District Community Medical Officer (DCMO), Principal Nursing Officer, District Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Coordinator, District Health Information Officer, Facility MCH in charge/alternate from each of the four testing facilities, two Neighbourhood Health Committee (NHC) Chairpersons from East and West Zones of the district and three BID Initiative staff members.

The preliminary UAG meeting was held last month and was chaired by the Principal Nursing Officer on behalf of the District Community Medical Officer. During the meeting, we shared background on the BID Initiative, discussed the immunisation challenges faced by the district, expectations and concerns of end users and finally, agreed on the terms of reference for the group.

Additionally, we determined the role of the UAG members:

  • To provide input from the perspective of immunisation on supply chain, data collection and use, service delivery, and community involvement.
  • To facilitate dissemination of BID Initiative interventions across the health worker community and general public.
  • To facilitate implementation of BID Initiative interventions within their mandated area of work.
  • To advocate for the BID Initiative at different forums and to work as champions in cross-facility learning exchanges.

We look forward to the invaluable contribution of this newly established group that will improve data collection, quality, and use at all levels of the health system.

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