The Data Improvement Teams (DIT) Strategy is implementing a regional immunization DIT training and deployment from 25th June to 6th July 2019, for Greater Kampala region (II) districts (Buvuma, Butambala, Buikwe, and Kawempe Division of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) with Ministry of Health and Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) partners.
The DIT Strategy aims to generate good quality data for immunization, monitor preferences of Health Facilities and eliminate error at the grass roots which affects the Ministry planning for vaccination.
The training aimed at enhancing skills of the Immunization Focal Persons, District Bio statisticians, Surveillance Focal Persons and Masters of Public Health, Makerere University students.
In 2013, a Data Quality Assurance Strategy (DQAS) assessment was conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO). This assessment found gaps in the quality of Immunization Data which explains why DIT was created. In each of the countries, where the assessment was done, especially in Africa, the assessment is repeated every 4 – 5 years. This helps a country review the quality of Immunization Data.
According to Dr Kevin Mugenyi – Epidemiologist AFENET, When looking at quality of Immunization Data, there are several key areas: Recording: how do health workers record information? Different registered are used to write details and records of mothers and children at the health center. Reporting: At the end of the month Health Workers are supposed to record how many Children where immunized in a health facility? And did they reach their target? Analyze: Health workers are expected to analyze data to help them track their performance in the county. Have all the babies been reached? and Archiving: Which includes filing and storage of all data.
In 2013, the DQAS found that there were many gaps in all these areas. In many instances Health workers had not been trained on how to use new registers. Districts expect health workers to and submit reports record according to given deadlines to enable timely decisions on immunization to support the facilities. These are components of data quality. It was found that Uganda had poor quality of immunization data.
“Why should we be concerned about poor quality of data? It is important to inform health workers that we use our data for planning, so without data, we cannot plan for services. If the health workers are not recording the number of health workers they immunize, the district is not able to plan for the facilities. Planning also includes ordering for vaccines to be sent to the health facilities.” Say Dr Mugenyi.