8 February 2018

Tanzania: Nation Performs Well in Immunisation Initiative

Photo: Edward Parsons/IRIN
(file photo).

TANZANIA has made yet another milestone in its countrywide immunisation drive on the ongoing project in three regions of Arusha, Tanga and Kilimanjaro, which capitalises on paperless technology.

According to the Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elders and Children, Dr Mpoki Ulisubisya, the government wants to attain its 100 per cent target on national immunisation coverage.

Dr Ulisubisya was speaking in Dar es Salaam yesterday during the official signing of the Tanzania Health Data Collaborative Communiqué between the government, Civil Societies and Development Partners, which aims at establishing a digitalised health data system.

Signing of Health Data collaborative communiqué marked further strides between partners in the health sector to invest resources and technologies in key health data priorities for higher return. In the communiqué, all parties agreed to embark on a comprehensive system for collecting data electronically that will help in improving the health sector.

"Our system is quite different from that of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) because it only involves the heath sector especially on various diseases like tuberculosis, malaria, child mortality rate and many others," insisted Dr Ulisubisya."

His deputy, Dr Zainab Chaula, said Tanzania was committed to strengthening its Health Information System (HIS) through harmonisation of data from the routine health information systems such as the Health Management Information System (HMIS), surveillance systems, health sentinel sites and vital registrations.

"On the other hand, the health sector is harmonising data from the periodic data systems such as Demographic and Health Surveys, Health Facility Assessments and Census, so we urge development partners to support the implementation of this initiative. On the immunisation drive, Dr Ulisubisya said the ongoing project in the three regions of Arusha, Tanga and Kilimanjaro, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the government has made efforts to transform into a digital system where health workers have tablets which help them to collect data.

According to him, the project would later be rolled out countrywide. In December, 2017, Tanzania set a world record in national immunisation coverage, thanks to the government- backed national Immunisation and Vaccine Programme currently under implementation. A report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) says the country had attained 97 per cent, surpassing the target by the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP).

The rate is measured by percentage of children receiving the third dose of the diphtheria- tetanus- pertussis vaccine (DTP3), which was relatively high at 97 per cent in Tanzania by December, last year, beating the GVAP target, which requires at least 90 per cent coverage in any given country

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