This week in @CDCMMWR: Assessing Kenya's and Ghana's immunization information systems

Saturday, November 11, 2017

I'm trying to get back into blogging regularly by doing some regular, manageable features. Since I read CDC's MMWR every week and it often contains articles relevant to global health and/or data quality, I am going to try to feature articles of interest here.

This week's MMWR has an article on a recently revamped data quality assessment tool that is intended to measure immunization information systems in low- and middle-income countries. The WHO partnered with the CDC to develop updated assessment guidelines in 2014, as the original guidelines developed in 2001 were missing the mark. The article presents the results of using the updated assessment tool in Kenya in 2015 and in Ghana in 2016:
The availability, quality, and use of immunization data are widely considered to form the foundation of successful national immunization programs. Lower- and middle-income countries have used systematic methods for the assessment of administrative immunization data quality since 2001, when the World Health Organization (WHO) developed the Data Quality Audit methodology. WHO adapted this methodology for use by national programs as a self-assessment tool, the Data Quality Self-Assessment. This methodology was further refined by WHO and CDC in 2014 as an immunization information system assessment (IISA).
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The experience gained from implementing assessments using updated IISA guidance in Kenya and Ghana provides an opportunity to inform other countries interested in best practices for assessing their data quality and creating actionable data quality improvement plans. Data quality improvement is important to provide the most accurate and actionable evidence base for future decision-making and investments in immunization programs. This review provides best practice experiences and recommendations for countries to use an IISA to assess data quality from national administrative structure down to the facility level. This methodology also meets the requirements for use by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, for monitoring national immunization data quality at a minimum interval of every 5 years in conjunction with funding decisions.
The issue also has articles on tobacco use and waterborne disease outbreaks in the U.S. - including in drinking water (which is scary, since most of us in the states take safe drinking water for granted).

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