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Tanzania: Technology is bringing the right to health to every mama and mtoto

Vaccines are one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions in existence. 

 

According to statistics released by the World Health Organization (WHO) for World Immunisation Week 2018, polio cases have decreased by over 99% since 1988 as a direct result of immunisation. Today, only three countries (Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan) remain polio-endemic, down from more than 125 just twenty years ago. However, despite all the evidence in favour of immunisation, the WHO estimates that one in ten children don't receive any vaccinations, leaving them at risk of potentially deadly diseases like measles, mumps, tetanus and typhoid.

 

Amref Health Africa is doing its part to extend vaccination coverage in Tanzania. Working closely with our partners*, we've developed mVacciNation, a handy smartphone app that enables frontline health workers to capture data for each child they vaccinate, and record vaccine temperatures and stock levels. "This data synchronises with the cloud in real time and sends alert messages to parents or caregivers to remind them about the next vaccination visit," explains Amref UK's Programme Officer Aleena Khan, pictured below (second from left) during a recent visit to Shinyanga, one of two regions in Tanzania where mVacciNation has been rolled out. "It also lets district immunisation officers know if a technician is needed for cold chain maintenance, or more vaccines to avoid stock-out.

"The aim is to make it as easy as possible to overcome barriers to immunisation in parts of the country that might otherwise be out-of-reach or have a weak health system, thereby reducing the number of child deaths caused by vaccine-preventable diseases."

 

 

This week our Programme Officer, Aleena Khan will be taking over our Instagram feed to talk to you about immunisation! Hope you enjoy it πŸ™Œ#worldimmunizationweek . . . Hi #instafam, Aleena aka @leeny__k here! I’m very excited to talk vaccinations to you this World Immunization Week! Amref has been doing some great work in the immunisation sector in Tanzania - elements of which I wasn’t even fully aware until my visit to the country last month! I was lucky enough to spend some time with our amazing colleagues and the communities we work with in Shinyanga on our mVacciNation project - mVacciNation? What’s that you ask πŸ€” More deets to follow tomorrow so stay tuned! ☺️❀️

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Since mVacciNation was launched in 2016, 100 healthcare workers from 50 facilities have been trained to use the platform - and more than 95,000 children and caregivers in Geita and Shinyanga Regions have been registered. "Through mVacciNation, Amref hopes to play its part in promoting the right to health for every mother and their little mtoto in a cost-effective and innovative manner," says Aleena.

You can read more about mVacciNation in Aleena's guest blog for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, published for World Immunisation Week 2018.

 

 

Good evening everyone! Aleena here again with some more vaccine talk! As promised, today I’m going to tell you a bit about mVacciNation (yes the capitalisation of the V and N is important πŸ˜‹) . . So mVacciNation is a mobile health technology solution implemented in Tanzania by Amref to smoothen out vaccine data management and vaccine stock and cold chain issues! πŸ™Œ . . Simply put, this mobile app helps health facility staff keep a record of the children visiting the health facility for vaccinations, types of vaccines given, stock levels of vaccines and their temperatures! This helps us achieve our overarching goal of reducing infant morbidity and mortality caused by vaccine preventable diseases πŸ‘Άβ€οΈ . . Shoutout to our main partners for mVacciNation: @gsk, Vodafone, Mezzanine, & the Tanzanian Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children! 🌟

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*mVacciNation was developed by Amref working in partnership with GSK, Vodafone, Mezzanine, and the Tanzanian Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MoHCDEC).