We are thrilled to officially announce both our new project in Sierra Leone and new partnership with eHealth Africa (eHA) to support the implementation of VaxTrac’s electronic immunization registry system in 50 urban health facilities in Freetown. The first round of facilities will launch the system in early November 2016 and the pilot phase will run through May 2017. We are privileged to work with an organization such as eHA that is doing a great deal of work to develop and implement data driven technology solutions that uniquely meet the needs of vulnerable and underserved communities throughout West Africa.
“The partnership has immense potential by combining VaxTrac’s deep content knowledge in and experience with strengthening childhood immunization and eHA’s proven track record implementing innovative programs on the ground in Sierra Leone.” –Mark Thomas, Executive Director of VaxTrac
In Sierra Leone, vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs) constitute over 30% of the causes of death among children under the age of 5 according to National Disease Surveillance data (2008). A major key to increasing the rates of fully immunized children and reducing the prevalence rates of VPDs is ensuring the quality, accessibility and collection efficiency of immunization data for decision-makers at the local, district, and central levels; a major goal of this collaboration between Vaxtrac and eHA.
Working hand-in-hand with VaxTrac and the Child Health Division at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, eHA will support the initial project design and implementation in Freetown. Freetown was chosen as the initial VaxTrac implementation area for two reasons: 1) High bandwidth relative to other districts, allowing consistent access to the data network, and 2) Freetown’s relatively low vaccination rates within the country.
“eHA is excited to collaborate with MoHS and VaxTrac to implement a biometric immunization record system. We believe this project will lead to a higher number of children finishing their vaccination plans as well as establish a robust immunization record system for Sierra Leone.”-Evelyn Castle, Executive Director and Co-Founder of eHealth Africa
Over the next seven months, Public Health Units (PHUs) will be provided with the necessary hardware, reference materials, and skills to run the VaxTrac system sustainably. An initial needs assessment has already been conducted, and the pilot and rollout trainings will take place this month to ensure a smooth integration into current health services delivery workflows. Stay tuned for more updates from this exciting new project as things develop!
More about our organizations:
VaxTrac is a US-based non-profit organization that designs, implements, and evaluates mobile vaccine management tools for use in developing health systems. The backbone of the system is a mobile, clinic-based immunization registry. Mothers and children are identified using one of several possible methods like biometrics, QR codes, or demographic information. That core functionality is augmented with a number of other helpful tools, including clinical decision support to improve the quality of services delivered, methods for defaulter tracing/demand generation and automated reporting that can reduce the administrative burden on frontline health workers and improve the quality of data.
eHealth Africa was founded in 2009 to provide support to Northern Nigeria’s health infrastructure. eHA’s work brought new approaches to the development of people centric and data driven technology solutions that connect and deliver better public health services for vulnerable communities. Now eHA has nearly 800 staff members and continues to provide innovative solutions, and plays a critical role in public health interventions across four countries in West Africa: Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.