Better Data plus Better Decisions for Better Health Outcomes

Jan 15, 2015


Tara Newton
Communications Associate, PATH's Better Immunization Data Initiative

Several health clinics in Indonesia implemented electronic systems to capture data, but one facility in particular far outperformed the rest in almost every indicator measured. However, this should not have been the case. This facility was more rural, served difficult to access populations, had limited resources and faced challenges related to infrastructure and geography.

Why was this facility so successful? The clinic manager was a true data champion and facility staff used data every day to identify trends and potential issues to act on. For example, health workers noted that there were several children who came to the clinic with diarrhea and that these children happened to come from one village.

Using this data, the clinic was able to get ahead of a potential disease outbreak, sending health workers out to provide proper hand washing lessons, rehydration treatments and interventions like vaccines before it had a chance to spread.

Leveraging data to identify these trends can have a profound effect on the clinic and surrounding population. Although global stakeholders and national governments acknowledge that there are strong challenges related to data quality, few can identify which problems matter most and where.

This is where PATH's Better Immunization Data (BID) Initiative comes in. The BID Initiative seeks to empower countries to enhance immunization and overall health service delivery through improved data collection, quality, and use. To start, we're partnering with demonstration countries Tanzania and Zambia to develop interventions addressing some of the most pressing routine immunization service delivery problems through interventions such as electronic immunization registries and adding barcodes to vaccine stock and child health cards.

DefeatDD is creating champions in the fight against diarrheal disease, driving awareness of solutions, such as the vaccine for rotavirus. This enables key stakeholders and government officials to make informed decisions about how to fight this terrible disease. With improved data products, practices and policies, the BID Initiative will help these countries reach every child.

If successful, a true tipping point will occur—one in which countries can access, analyze, and act upon accurate immunization data anytime, anywhere—resulting in improved immunization outcomes and healthier families and communities.

Learn more about the BID Initiative in the following video and visit