Assessment of barriers to the implementation of community-based data verification and immunization data discrepancies between health facilities and the community in Tach Gayint district, Northwest Ethiopia.
Introduction: While community-based data verification (CBDV) is critical for effective implementation of immunization programs, limited evidence exists detailing its implementation at the local levels thereby threatening data quality which is used to guide decision making.
Aim: To explore the barriers to proper implementation of CBDV and determine the level of immunization data discrepancy between the health facilities and community levels in Tach Gayint district of Northwest Ethiopia.
Methods: A Mixed methods approach was used. Interviews with twenty-six key informants’ (health experts) in immunization data, and an additional a sample of 324 infants were recruited. All health centers in the district (6) and 2 health posts from each health center (12 in total) were selected using Simple Random Sampling. Key informant interviewees were purposely included from all health facilities. For quantitative data, samples of infants were proportionally allocated for each health facility as per their DPT/Pentavalent-1 vaccine report. Thematic analysis of the qualitative data and descriptive quantitative analysis were performed using statistical software open-code v-4.02 and STATA v14.1 respectively.
Results: Only few health facilities implemented CBDV and consider it to be their routine task. Also, barriers to effective implementation of CBDV such as lack of prioritization, poor capacity among health staff, and conflicting job roles were identified. The highest immunization data discrepancy among community and health facilities was observed for the measles-one vaccine (35.4%), and the minimum was for DPT/Pentavalent-1 (25.6%).
Conclusion: This study revealed a poor level of CBDV implementation and barriers to its effective implementation which include lack of prioritizing CBDV, limited capacity among health staff in performing CBDV, and conflicting job roles among health staff. There was a high level of immunization data discrepancy for measles-1 and DTP/Pentalent-3 vaccines. Based on our finding, we make the following recommendations: building skills among health workers to perform CBDV, enhancing availability and use of standard CBDV tools, ensuring monitoring, and control mechanism, and setting clear definition of roles regarding CBDV, as well as closing the gap in level of immunization data discrepancy could help foster effective implementation of CBDV. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2021; 35(SI-3):09-15]
Key words: Immunization, CBDV, Data discrepancy, Data quality