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Zambia and the BID Initiative celebrate commitment to close the immunization gap with better data

July 21, 2017 by PATH

Contact:
Kate Davidson | 206-285-4637 | media@path.org

Today the BID Initiative is celebrating its partnership with the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Zambia to create a culture of data use in a showcase event. It will also mark the launch of Zambia's electronic immunization registry (ZEIR). The celebration, which will include Zambia's First Lady Esther Lungu, among other special guests, symbolizes both parties' commitments to closing the immunization gap with timely, high-quality data.

Immunization is one of the best investments to improving health around the globe. Yet inaccurate or incomplete data about vaccine coverage rates, difficulties tracking patients who have missed a recent vaccine, labor-intensive reporting protocols, and poor visibility into vaccine stocks all make it difficult for health workers and health systems, particularly in low-resource settings, to protect their target population against life-threatening childhood diseases.

The BID Initiative, led by PATH, helps ensure that accurate data are both available and utilized, allowing health workers to make better decisions on how best to deliver care. Designed and implemented in partnership with the governments of Tanzania and Zambia, the BID Initiative enhances immunization and overall health service delivery by improving data collection, quality, and use. It holistically addresses immunization data challenges and strengthens evidence-based decisions through a package of interventions that build a culture of data use, including electronic immunization registries (EIR), barcodes or QR codes on child health cards, stock management tools, and peer support networks, among other data use tools. With better data, facilities can avoid stock-outs, identify defaulting patients, and better measure their performance against neighboring facilities.

To date in Zambia, the BID Initiative has rolled out to 41 facilities across Southern Province, and it has registered 1,568 children in its EIR. ZEIR allows health workers to access the app even without an Internet connection. Zambia's vaccine schedules are added to the app and appear as color-coded reminders, alerting nurses to services that are due or overdue. Nurses can also view a child's complete record, import information for multiple vaccines at once, and look up children in neighboring facilities.

By February 2018, BID will roll out to 267 facilities across Zambia's Southern Province. The BID Initiative is also under way in Tanzania, where more than 81,735 children have been registered in the country's EIR, and 285 facilities are implementing data use and quality interventions. Tanzania recently announced plans to expand to the Tanga and Kilimanjaro regions. The BID Initiative and its partners in Zambia and Tanzania are committed to ensuring the long-term sustainability and national scale-up of data use and data quality interventions for both countries. While the BID Initiative is committed first to improving data use for immunization services, interventions are applicable to other health areas as well, including maternal and child health, and nutrition.

To learn more about the BID Initiative, visit www.bidinitiative.org.

Watch on YouTube: The BID Initiative | The Power of data

Posted July 21, 2017.