Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals

An online immunization registry in Albania

A changing landscape

WHO/Olivier Ronveaux
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.

Albania immunization information system photobook

Starting in 2009, the Albanian Institute of Public Health collaborated with project Optimize to implement an online immunization information system (IIS) that can schedule and record all child immunizations in the country, as well as manage vaccine stock and storage. This photo set illustrates how the new system has benefitted health workers in Albania. The “Before” pictures describe how health workers used the previous paper-based registry, while the “After” pictures describe how they are now using IIS.


Optimize: Albania Report

This report presents the results of demonstration projects and other activities undertaken in Albania as part of a partnership between project Optimize and the Albanian Institute of Public Health. This report describes the demonstration projects undertaken in Albania as part of the collaboration.


Assessment of a remote alarm system for vaccine storage in Albania

Between March and December 2010 this project Optimize study assessed the marginal managerial advantages of using a global system for mobile communications/short message service messaging to transmit the temperature data in 24 health centers of the district of Shkodra, Albania.


Albania: Demonstrating the benefits of an online immunization registry

This document describes how project Optimize is collaborating with the Albanian Institute of Public Health to transform the way immunization data and vaccine stock are managed. The two-year collaboration aims to evaluate the benefits of a supply chain that uses an online immunization registry, remotely connected temperature monitoring devices, and a distribution system organized for optimum efficiency.


Temperature monitoring for vaccine quality

In collaboration with the Albanian Ministry of Health, project Optimize has installed a short message service–based system that monitors and logs temperature conditions in peripheral cold chain equipment. The team aims to assess the benefits of remote alarm systems over nonconnected temperature loggers.


Immunization information system in Albania

The Albanian Ministry of Health, in collaboration with project Optimize, developed a registry-based immunization information system. This factsheet illustrates how the data the new system produces is used to improve the management of the vaccination program, how it is changing the way people collaborate, how it ensures timely and equal access to immunization for all children, and how it reduces the administrative burden on staff.


Mobile phones bring online immunization registries to low-resource countries

Today, most health workers at the service‐delivery level in developing countries use paper‐based systems to track the individuals who have been vaccinated and the vaccines and other resources used during the process. Project Optimize is working with the Albanian Institute of Public Health to develop and implement an immunization information system that will provide the type of high-quality, granular data that policymakers need.

Share

Mobile technology supports immunization programs in Albania

  1. A changing landscape
  2. Benefits to the country and region