Preventing disease with data
- Polio may seem like a thing of the past for many of us, but in Pakistan, the virus is still endemic. It is one of the world’s most devastating diseases that mainly affects children under five. When one child remains infected, all children are at risk. One in 200 cases results in lifelong paralysis.
- The main challenge the country faces is identifying unvaccinated children. Health workers have to go door-to-door to collect data, and it can be difficult to reach families with no formal addresses or mobile communities. With 40 million children across Pakistan requiring a polio vaccination every two months, data management can be a gargantuan task.
- This is where 500-backed big data company Zenysis comes in. The team’s software integrates and harmonizes siloed datasets while removing duplicate records. “Data is like people, in that if data sets don’t talk to each other then they won’t work well. Zenysis gets data and data sets talking,” explained Project Manager Abid Hasan.
- The result? Real impact on the ground. Using Zenysis’ data, Pakistan not only has a new vaccination plan, but a personalized one for each district, called a microplan.
- “Firstly, the new microplans give community health workers the real picture. Second, frontline workers now have a plan to follow and are no longer using broad or inflated data that is hard to action on. Third, this approach is measurable – when you reach a target, that goes into the system. With accurate data, you can really see the impact,” said Abid.
- Now, health workers can identify neighborhoods with clusters of unvaccinated children. In turn, this leads to optimized use of time and energy, and better outcomes for communities.
- To date, the Sindh region has used the Zenysis platform to identify over 28,500 zero-dose children in the region and vaccinate 12,724.
- Read the full story here.
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