Companies to increase childhood vaccination in Mozambique
Despite major advances in the funding and availability of vaccines worldwide, it is estimated that up to a fifth of children worldwide still do not receive basic vaccines. In order to address this issue, GSK has now formed a partnership with Vodafone to harness innovative mobile technology to help vaccinate more children against common infectious diseases in Africa. The proliferation of mobile phones in Africa offers an opportunity to create innovative and cost-effective ways to address barriers to universal vaccination.
The initial focus of the new GSK-Vodafone partnership will be a one-year pilot vaccination project in Mozambique, supported by Save the Children and run in collaboration with the Mozambique Ministry of Health. This project aims to establish if mobile technology solutions could increase the proportion of children covered by vaccination in Mozambique by an additional 5-10% through helping to encourage mothers to take up vaccination services, support health workers, improve record keeping, and enable better management of vaccine stock.
If successful, the project will create a model that can be replicated throughout Mozambique and then scaled across Africa to reach thousands more children with life-saving vaccination.
CEO of GSK Sir Andrew Witty said: “Innovative technologies – whether mobile devices, medicines or vaccines – are helping to transform global health. Organisations such as UNICEF and GAVI have played a key role in making vaccines much more accessible in Africa but barriers still exist which stop children from benefitting from basic immunisation. This new partnership combines GSK’s expertise, knowledge and resources with those of Vodafone with the potential to deliver life-saving vaccines to tens of thousands more children in Mozambique. Our hope is that together we will create a sustainable and scalable model which could ultimately be replicated to help more children live healthy lives across developing countries.”
CEO of Vodafone Vittorio Colao added; “Vodafone is committed to investing in mobile technologies that can transform healthcare in both developed and emerging markets. These partnerships have the potential to save millions of children’s lives in some of the world’s poorest countries and we are delighted to support this critically important endeavour.”
The pilot will include up to 100 clinics and will be independently tested to prove its impact, effectiveness and cost benefits. To ensure open access, the platform will be available to caregivers across any mobile network and can be used to increase take-up of any selected vaccine.