Universal Immunization through Improving Family Health Services (UI-FHS) is a project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that aims to strengthen the routine immunization system in over 100 woredas (districts) across six regions in Ethiopia, with a focus on equity and quality.
In 2011, JSI was awarded the UI-FHS project as a learning grant to develop evidence on whether and how the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health should pursue nationwide universal child immunization integrated with family health approaches, and what it would take to do so effectively. Building on the evidence developed in three initial woredas, JSI received an extension in 2014 to expand its work into over 100 woredas in six regions of Ethiopia—Afar, Benishangul Gumuz, Gambela, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples (SNNPR), Somali, and Tigray—through July 2019.
In this expansion phase of the project, JSI is working to operationalize and strengthen Ethiopia’s national routine immunization strategy, Reaching Every District/Community (RED/REC), by introducing Quality Improvement (QI) tools. The JSI-designed RED-QI approach helps health personnel address large, complex, priority problems by identifying root causes and making small, rapid, doable changes that can quickly be tested and vetted for adoption, adaption, or abandonment at local level.
UI-FHS builds the capacity of woreda health officers to provide long-term, affordable technical and managerial support to their health workers, helps to operationalize the RED-QI approach in the woredas where it works, and encourages staff at the community level to develop, test, and share successful local solutions.
While UI-FHS focuses on routine immunization system strengthening, the RED-QI processes can be applied to other family health service interventions. This approach supports the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health’s concerted efforts to strengthen not only routine immunization, but the overall delivery of family health services.
UI-FHS in the Press:
March 2, 2016 – Working toward Universal Immunization: John Snow, Inc (JSI) (by Molly Abbruzzese, on Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog)
January 8, 2016 – How on Earth Can a Remote Ethiopian Health Post Function without Electricity? (by Dr. Orin Levine, on Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog)
July 14, 2015 – New Guide for Improving Immunization in Ethiopia
April 28, 2015 – JSI’s UI-FHS Project Joins Ethiopian Government Efforts to Shine Spotlight on Critical Region for World Immunization Week (by Adriana Almiñana, on JSI’s “The Pump” blog)
April 14, 2015 – JSI to Expand Universal Immunization Efforts in Ethiopia