Data and health information systems are enabling health managers not only to respond to health outbreaks, but also to predict where needs will occur, develop plans to address them, and thus ensure that people are receiving the services they need when they need them.
As a result of JSI’s work in Sindh province, Pakistan, health budgets grew 137 percent as health managers learned to use data to substantiate budget requests; 80 percent of districts in Sindh learned to use data to solve health sector challenges on their own; and accuracy of health data improved.
In this episode, you will hear from Dr. Nabeela Ali, JSI Country Representative for Pakistan. She spoke to JSI Technical Advisor, Nancy Brady about the results that the JSI-implemented Health Systems Strengthening Component of USAID’s Maternal and Child Health Program had. Through this, she explains how strengthening a health system saves lives.
Preventable childhood diseases are a major national health concern throughout Pakistan, where just slightly more than half of all children are fully immunized. Nowhere is the occurrence of measles, pneumonia, and hepatitis B—to name just a few of the common illnesses—more glaring than in remote villages.
Developing countries often face the unexpected: disease outbreaks, natural disasters, and political unrest. To sustain advances in their health systems while safeguarding communities, health staff and organizations need strategies that promote system resilience—the capacity to anticipate and respond to crises; maintain core functions when shocks strike; and reorganize when extreme conditions or circumstances arise.
In Sindh Province, as in the rest of Pakistan, logistics data for the immunization supply chain was sporadically collected and seldom used for years. Stockouts of critical vaccines were commonplace, resulting in poor coverage rates and frequent outbreaks of measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases. In 2013-2014, the federal and provincial governments, supported by JSI, USAID, UNICEF, and WHO, developed and launched a web-based vaccine logistics management information system (vLMIS) to address this problem, and started an ongoing effort to scale up use of the system across the nation.