Pre- and in-service training of health care workers on immunization data management in LMICs: a scoping review

Hum Resour Health. 2019 Dec 2;17(1):92. doi: 10.1186/s12960-019-0437-6.


Background: Healthcare providers (HCPs) are recognized as one of the cornerstones and drivers of health interventions. Roles such as documentation of patient care, data management, analysing, interpreting and appropriate use of data are key to ending vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs). However, there is a great deal of uncertainty and concerns about HCPs' skills and competencies regarding immunization data handling and the importance of data use for improving service delivery in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Questions about the suitability and relevance of the contents of training curriculum, appropriateness of platforms through which training is delivered and the impact of such training on immunization data handling competencies and service delivery remain a source of concern. This review identified and assessed published studies that report on pre- and in-service training with a focus on HCPs' competencies and skills to manage immunization data in LMICs.

Methods: An electronic search of six online databases was performed, in addition to websites of the WHO, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), Oxfam International, Save the Children, Community Health Workers Central (CHW Central), UNAIDS and UNICEF. Using appropriate keywords, MeSH terms and selection procedure, 12 articles published between January 1980 and May 2019 on pre- and in-service training of HCPs, interventions geared towards standardized data collection procedures, data documentation and management of immunization data in LMICs, including curriculum reviews, were considered for analysis.

Results: Of the 2705 identified references, only 12 studies met the inclusion criteria. The review provides evidence that shows that combined and multifaceted training interventions could help improve HCPs' knowledge, skills and competency on immunization data management. It further suggests that offering the right training to HCPs and sustaining standard immunization data management is hampered in LMICs by limited or/lack of training resources.

Conclusion: Pre-service training is fundamental in the skills' acquisition of HCPs; however, they require additional in-service training and supportive supervision to function effectively in managing immunization data tasks. Continuous capacity development in immunization data-management competencies such as data collection, analysis, interpretation, synthesis and data use should be strengthened at all levels of the health system. Furthermore, there is a need for periodic review of the immunization-training curriculum in health training institutions, capacity development and retraining tutors on the current trends in immunization data management.

Keywords: Capacity development; Competences; Curriculum; Data management; Healthcare providers; Human resources; Immunization; In-service training; Pre-service training; Workforce.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Community Health Workers / education*
  • Curriculum
  • Data Management / education*
  • Developing Countries*
  • Humans
  • Immunization / methods*
  • Inservice Training / methods*
  • Poverty