How telecoms is helping Africa to get vaccinated

How telecoms is helping Africa to get vaccinated

Further proof that the response to the Covid-19 crisis has significantly accelerated the adoption of so-called frontier technologies comes from Africa and an alliance between the Vodacom Group and the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD).

The partners have announced that they will offer the mVacciNation digital toolbox – a mobile technology platform that manages vaccination appointments and stock availability in African Union member states – to accelerate the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out.

The roll-out of mVacciNation, developed by Mezzanine, a member of the Vodacom Group, is the first project in a public-private partnership that has been formed between Vodacom Group and AUDA-NEPAD to boost Africa’s digital transformation and build resilience for the post-Covid world.

mVacciNation has a supply chain component that provides real-time information for health workers of all available vaccines and medical equipment (like syringes and supplies) nationally.

It also has a beneficiary management component that allows individuals to register on the platform and assigns them to vaccine service points on a specific day and time. In addition there is what is called a 'control tower' that allows for the orchestration of stock to specific vaccination centres.

Each time someone is vaccinated their digital record is updated and, if a further dose is required, mVacciNation automatically schedules and sends a follow-up date via SMS. Once vaccination is completed, the individual will receive electronic certification.

Countries can link mVacciNation into their choice of temperature-controlled supply chain, drug safety and vaccination travel passport platforms. 

Once installed, the mVacciNation platform will remain in place to help countries better manage future pandemics and other large-scale health programmes such as infant inoculations.

In fact in South Africa, the National Department of Health has already used mVacciNation to register health workers on its Covid-19 Electronic Vaccine Data System (EVDS), and nearly 279,000 vaccinations have been administered to date. mVaccination has also been successfully deployed in Mozambique, Tanzania and Nigeria to manage infant inoculations.