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Using Better Data to Protect More Kids

By Mwanaidi Msangi, Communications Associate, BID Initiative

Apr 25, 2016

Posted in ,

Oliver Mlemeta, sister in charge at Usa River Health Center Tanzania.

Photo: PATH/Trevor Snapp. Oliver Mlemeta, Sister in Charge at Usa River Health Center.

This post is part of the #ProtectingKids story roundup. Read all the stories here.

Did we vaccinate all the children we intended to this month? How many children do we expect next month and will we have enough vaccine supply in stock? How are we performing in terms of service provision?

Health workers like Oliver Mlemeta in Arusha City District in Tanzania constantly asked themselves these questions. Often heads-down providing health services to the seemingly endless queue of patients and keeping up with the countless forms and records to fill out, Oliver doesn’t have the time or systems in place to answer these questions. She’s essentially left in the dark and unable to perform her job efficiently. The result can often lead to poor planning and less kids fully protected with vaccines.

While many people focus on immunization coverage rates to measure success in reaching children, in actuality, we’re often uncertain how many children are in a facility’s catchment area. This makes it difficult to calculate coverage and ensure all kids are protected with vaccines. The BID Initiative is introducing interventions in Arusha Tanzania to improve data quality and use at all levels of the health system. Health workers like Oliver are now realizing the benefits of timely, accurate data to improve service delivery planning and reach more kids.

As we celebrate World Immunization Week, take a closer look at how Oliver and her colleagues in Arusha City District are using better data, for better decision making, to protect more kids in the following video.

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