New initiative to bring vaccination to over 8 million people across Africa :: Fingerprint records and digital health cards to help solve global identity crisis

Milestones :: Perspectives

New initiative to bring vaccination to over 8 million people across Africa
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance teams up with The Audacious Project to scale up immunisation across Africa through digitally-empowered community health programs.

Geneva, 15 August 2018 – Millions of people living in remote areas across Liberia, Uganda, and Kenya will get support to access lifesaving vaccines thanks to a new partnership between Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, The Audacious Project, Last Mile Health and Living Goods.

The new partnership will provide a combined US $18 million to Last Mile Health and Living Goods’ Audacious Project to boost the number of community health workers and integrate immunisation information and data-capture into their daily routines. The new funding will help give over 8 million people access to vaccines, while the partnership as a whole aims to deploy 50,000 community health workers to serve 34 million people by 2021.

The health workers will be equipped with smartphones that can capture the immunisation status of every child in real time with a time-stamped GPS identifier, send automated vaccination reminders by SMS and use real-time data to help pinpoint and close immunisation gaps. This system enables governments to optimise the performance of thousands of far-flung health workers in real time.

“One of the toughest jobs in global health is reaching remote communities that live hours or even days away from their nearest skilled healthcare provider,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “With more than 19 million children worldwide still without access to vaccines, this is a challenge we have to tackle. This partnership could make a real difference, giving community health workers the technology and know-how they need to help the hardest-to-reach access lifesaving vaccines.”…

Fingerprint records and digital health cards to help solve global identity crisis
Four companies will receive Gavi support to help scale emerging digital identification technologies in developing countries.

Geneva, 31 July 2018 – Digital health cards, biometric records, text message birth alerts and a mobile digital identity platform that can work entirely offline have all been chosen to be this year’s INFUSE Pacesetters by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

Gavi launched INFUSE (Innovation for Uptake, Scale and Equity in Immunisation) at the 2016 World Economic Forum in Davos to help improve vaccine delivery systems by connecting high-impact innovations with the countries that need them most. This year, Gavi sought to identify proven technologies that could accelerate and improve immunisation coverage and delivery by improving the formal identity, registration and verification of children in developing countries.

“We are currently in the middle of a global identity crisis: tens of millions of children – especially those living in most remote, impoverished communities – have no formal record of their existence,” said Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “That represents an enormous impediment to Gavi’s mission of ensuring that every child worldwide receives the essential vaccines they need to survive and thrive. This year’s INFUSE Pacesetters are on the cutting edge of technologies that might help us overcome that challenge.”

At a two-day workshop this month in San Francisco, a hub for disruptive technology and innovation, Gavi selected the INFUSE Pacesetters from more than 200 innovations from around the world. They include:
:: Element, Inc: An AI-powered, software-only solution for biometric recognition that runs offline on mobile devices.
:: Ona Open Smart Register Platform (OpenSRP): A digital health card technology allowing frontline health workers to electronically register and track health services.
:: iCivil Africa: A mobile solution that sends the details of every new-born baby’s birth to a government health worker via coded SMS.
:: Simprints: A biometric innovation that solves challenges to immunisation coverage by linking children to health records through their fingerprints…