Improving National Immunization Program Impact with DHIS2

The World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance are partnering with DHIS2 to improve national immunization program coverage through better data collection, analysis and use.

More than 30 countries in Africa and Asia have installed the WHO recommended DHIS2 dashboard packages into their national HMIS. Along with the WHO Immunization Analysis App and WHO Data Quality Tool for DHIS2, these dashboard packages empower EPI program managers and district staff to  identify gaps in immunization coverage, reduce stock wastage and monitor cold chain metrics and follow up on facility reports. Thanks in part to the use of DHIS2 analytics and data quality tools, some countries have achieved more than 98% completeness of their immunization data. Increasingly, countries are adopting DHIS2 tracker as an Electronic Immunization Registry (EIR) to improve adherence to the national vaccination schedule and reduce drop-out rates. These tools are designed with integration and sustainability at the forefront, underpinned by WHO recommendations to strengthen national HMIS through integration of immunization, health service delivery and other program data.

Overview of DHIS2 toolkit for immunization

Since 2017, UiO has partnered with the WHO as a Collaborating Centre for Innovation and Implementation Research on HIS strengthening. Through this partnership, UiO has developed a suite of DHIS2 tools and metadata packages that support countries to adopt WHO immunization program standards into national HMIS. 

For more information of WHO’s resources, please visit: https://www.who.int/data/data-collection-tools/health-service-data/

The DHIS2 digital health data toolkit includes:

  • EPI dashboard & analytics package: includes WHO-recommended dashboards and indicators for analysis of routine immunization data reported from facilities. The dashboard package can be installed in a country’s existing DHIS2 and indicators mapped to existing data elements. The package is designed to accompany the WHO’s Analysis and Use of Facility Data Toolkit for EPI.
  • Aggregate EPI metadata package: includes standard metadata (data elements, indicators) and dashboards for routine reporting and analysis of immunization data, with a special focus on facility-level data. The package can be installed in a country’s HMIS and ensures alignment with WHO’s indicator framework.
  • Immunization Analysis app: an installable web app providing enhanced data visualizations to support the analysis and use of WHO-EPI programme data.
  • Electronic Immunization Registry (EIR) tracker metadata package:  longitudinal individual-level data capture designed using DHIS2 tracker data model. The EIR tracker package is designed for clinicians and staff at health facilities and enables tracking a child’s immunization history and provides decision support. The package incorporates the WHO-recommended immunization schedule and can be adapted according to national policies/schedules. The EIR includes program indicators that are autogenerated and pre-mapped to monthly facility reporting indicators included in the aggregate package.
  • Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) tracker metadata package: The AEFI tracker facilitates the reporting of AEFI events and data collection during the investigation of an adverse event. The package can be installed as standalone or as an add-on to the Immunization Registry package.
  • Birth notification tracker metadata package: The tracker facilitates notification of births from health facilities with the goal of improving the completeness of birth registration in national CRVS systems. The package can be installed as standalone or as an add-on to the Immunization Registry package.
  • VPD (Vaccine Preventable Diseases) aggregate package: supports weekly IDSR (Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response) reporting for notifiable diseases. VPD aggregate is similar to the weekly IDSR that many countries in Africa already use with DHIS2. The package helps standardize using WHO definitions.
  • VPD case-based surveillance package (Tracker):  enables longitudinal capture of case data, linking clinical, laboratory and case outcome data to a case. The tracker currently supports 9 diseases and can be expanded to capture additional diseases.  

Additional metadata packages are being developed for mass campaigns; mapping of cold-chain logistics; and integrated analytics between health service data and supply chain information.

Download: Downloadable metadata files are available on the WHO package downloads page.

Guide to DHIS2 and Immunization Evidence and Resources

With support from Gavi, WHO AFRO, and UiO, HealthEnabled produced a guide to support countries that intend to use DHIS2 for immunization-related activities. This guide presents relevant information that can inform the implementation of DHIS2 for immunization through learning from other country experiences, by providing a review of published literature on the use of DHIS2 for immunization program management, as well as a listing of helpful resources on facility-based data, data quality, interoperability, electronic registry using DHIS2, case-based surveillance and reporting on VPDs, vaccine supply chain information systems, bottleneck analysis and scorecards, DHIS2 and birth notifications, Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI), immunization campaign monitoring and other general DHIS2 resources.

Learn more: The Guide to DHIS2 and Immunization Evidence and Resources is available in PDF format >> Download

Success stories: Countries using DHIS2 for immunization

Here are just a few examples from a small selection of the countries that currently use DHIS2 to manage their immunization programs:

More effective vaccination program management in Rwanda
Rwanda uses the DHIS2 EPI Tracker to help the EPI program decision makers to plan and monitor the vaccination activities across the country, improve birth notification and vaccination schedule compliance, and improve vaccination coverage overall.
Harmonizing immunization data across programs and improving data quality in Nigeria
DHIS2 has been effectively used to manage immunization data in Nigeria since 2014, and the implementation of the standard DHIS2 immunization packages has helped make it easier to compare indicators across counties, improved reporting completeness rates, and contributed to data-driven decision making.
Improvements in Ghana's EPI program with DHIS2 Immunization e-Tracker and Dashboards
Ghana first deployed the DHIS2 Immunization e-Tracker in 2016, and uses the DHIS2 Immunization Dashboards at the national, district and sub district levels. This has resulted in more effective data use in managing immunization programs, helped guide decision making and aided in planning.
Improving EPI reporting rates and timeliness with DHIS2
The transition to the DHIS2 for EPI reporting in Togo resulted in large improvements in EPI reporting timeliness--from only 38.2% of reports submitted on time in 2019 to 83% in 2019--as well as improvements in reporting completeness.

Read, share, and discuss on the DHIS2 Community of Practice

The Community of Practice (CoP) is the primary forum for DHIS2 discussion and support. There, you can read, discuss, and share user stories and best practices, raise and help resolve questions and issues, and connect with other members of the global DHIS2 immunization community. Visit the Immunization forum on the CoP to join the conversation.

Developed with global support

Work on DHIS2 immunization packages and resources has been done in collaboration with--and with the financial support of--our international partners: The World Health Organization, UNICEF, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

WHO logoWHO logoGavi the vaccine alliance logo