Improving public health information: a data quality intervention in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
ABSTRACT To evaluate the effect of an intervention to improve the quality of data used to monitor the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of the human immunodeficiency virus in South Africa.
The study involved 58 antenatal clinics and 20 delivery wards (37 urban, 21 rural and 20 semi-urban) in KwaZulu-Natal province that provided PMTCT services and reported data to the District Health Information System. The data improvement intervention, which was implemented between May 2008 and March 2009, involved training on data collection and feedback for health information personnel and programme managers, monthly data reviews and data audits at health-care facilities. Data on six data elements used to monitor PMTCT services and recorded in the information system were compared with source data from health facility registers before, during and after the intervention. Data completeness (i.e. their presence in the system) and accuracy (i.e. being within 10% of their true value) were evaluated.
The level of data completeness increased from 26% before to 64% after the intervention. Similarly, the proportion of data in the information system considered accurate increased from 37% to 65% (P < 0.0001). Moreover, the correlation between data in the information system and those from facility registers rose from 0.54 to 0.92.
A simple, practical data improvement intervention significantly increased the completeness and accuracy of the data used to monitor PMTCT services in South Africa.
Article: Accuracy and quality of immunization information systems in forty-one low income countries.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: To measure the accuracy and quality of immunization information systems in a range of low-income countries eligible to receive GAVI support. The Data Quality Audit (DQA) uses a WHO validated, standard methodology to compare data collected from health unit (HU) records of immunizations administered with reports of immunizations at central level and to collect quality indicators of the reporting system. The verification factor (VF), as a measure of accuracy, expresses the proportion of immunizations reported at national level that can be tracked down to the HU. A VF of 80% or above entitles countries to receive additional GAVI financial support. Quality indicators are assigned points which were summed to obtain quality scores (QS) at national, district and HU levels. DQAs included here were conducted between 2002 and 2005 in 41 countries, encompassing 1082 primary healthcare units in 188 randomly selected districts. Almost half of countries obtained a VF below 80% and only nine showed consistently high VF and QS scores. The most frequent weaknesses in the information systems were inconsistency of denominators used to estimate coverage, poor availability of guidelines (e.g. for late reporting), incorrect estimations of vaccine wastage and lack of feedback on immunization performance. In all six countries that failed a first DQA and undertook a second DQA, the VF and all QSs improved, not all of them statistically significantly. The DQA is a diagnostic tool to reveal a number of crucial problems that affect the quality of immunization data in all tiers of the health system. It identifies good performance at HU and district levels which can be used as examples of best practices. The DQA methodology brings data quality issues to the top of the agenda to improve the monitoring of immunization coverage.Tropical Medicine & International Health 02/2009; 14(1):2-10. · 2.80 Impact Factor
Article: Surveillance of mother-to-child transmission prevention programmes at immunization clinics: the case for universal screening.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Surveillance programmes for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) fail to quantify numbers of infant HIV infections averted, often because of poor postnatal follow-up. Additionally, infected infants are often not identified early and only gain access to comprehensive HIV care and treatment late in their disease. Anonymous, unlinked, HIV prevalence testing was conducted on dried blood spot (DBS) samples from all infants attending 6 week immunization clinics at seven primary health care clinics offering PMTCT. Samples were tested for HIV antibodies (indicating maternal HIV infection) and those determined to be from HIV-exposed infants were tested for HIV RNA by polymerase chain reaction. Infant and child mortality rates were determined using birth histories. Samples were collected from 2489 infants aged 4-8 weeks. HIV antibodies were identified in 931 infants [37.4%; 95% confidence interval (CI), 35.4-39.4], of whom 188 were HIV RNA positive. The estimated vertical transmission rate (VTR) was 20.2% (95% CI, 17.8-23.1%); 7.5% of all infants at this age were infected. Amongst mothers who reported that they had taken single-dose nevirapine for PMTCT, VTR was 15.0%. Amongst women who reported being HIV uninfected but whose infants had HIV antibodies, VTR was 30.5%. Infant mortality rates in KwaZulu Natal increased from 28/1000 live births in 1990-1994 to 92/1000 in 2000-2004. Anonymous HIV prevalence screening of all infants at immunization clinics is feasible to monitor the impact of PMTCT programmes on peripartum infection; linked screening could identify infected children early for referral into care and treatment programmes.AIDS 07/2007; 21(10):1341-7. · 6.24 Impact Factor