A changing landscape
Handwritten registries are a workload challenge for Albania's current system of immunization reporting.
Albania has a high-performing immunization system, but the country’s immunization landscape is becoming more complex, making management of its paper-based registries increasingly difficult. In addition, the introduction of new, expensive vaccines calls for better equipment, improved quality control, and a strengthened cold chain for proper vaccine storage.
In response to these challenges, project Optimize, a collaboration between the World Health Organization and PATH, and the Albania Institute of Public Health are piloting improved information systems for child immunization records and vaccine distribution and storage. We are implementing these interventions first in Albania’s Shkodra District, with the goal of ultimately expanding them country wide.
Our approach includes the following activities:
- Implementation of a digital immunization information registry, accessible via computer or cell phone, so that information will be immediately available for better program management from the health center to the national level.
- Installation of a short message service (SMS)-based temperature alarm system to monitor vaccine cold chain equipment in order to assess the benefits of remote alarm systems over traditional temperature loggers.
- Modeling of alternative supply chain systems in order to inform a new health system at the subnational level.
We're working with the government of Albania on a mobile-technology based system to track immunization data and vaccine supplies.
Benefits to the country and region
We anticipate that this project will provide several benefits to Albania and neighboring countries, including:
- An appointment system that will track scheduled vaccinations and make sure that children are not falling behind on their schedule.
- Stronger engagement with parents and the broader public through reminder messages and access to vaccination certificates.
- Vaccine supply chain workers who are able to more accurately forecast demand.
- Vaccine lots that are tracked to the administration of each vaccine dose.
- Policymakers who are more empowered to establish vaccination strategies and design supply chains that are tailored to the specific needs of different parts of the country.
Photos: World Health Organization/Olivier Ronveaux.