PATH announces five-year, US$19.5 million Gated Fdn grant to strengthen national immunization management systems

PATH announced a five-year, US$19.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to “help countries strengthen their immunization management systems” through the Better Immunization Data (BID) Initiative. The BID Initiative is described as “one of the first and largest data management projects of its kind, bringing together on-the-ground knowledge of immunization programs with a focus on eHealth and data quality and use issues. It recognizes that to improve immunization management, information technology is only part of the solution—and that it may not always be the right solution for all levels of the health system. The BID Initiative will invest in supporting existing and new national health information systems and help address the operational challenges health workers face in delivering immunization services.”  PATH noted that it will work with John Snow, Inc. and partner with countries and global stakeholders “to solve these data collection, quality, and use issues. While the initial focus will be on ensuring that the most accurate information is made available for the best decision-making around immunization programs, the BID Initiative inherently recognizes that point-of-care service delivery collects information beyond immunizations.”

PATH said that as a first step in the initiative, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will invite a number of African countries to a country consultation meeting to outline the concept, collect feedback, and identify partners interested in working with the BID Initiative. The BID Initiative will partner with lead countries to “develop and deploy scalable solution components involving products, practices, people, and packaging these components into a replicable solution that can be easily and cost-effectively adopted by other countries interested in using the solution to improve their immunization management.”