People, Processes and Products: Intelligent Vaccine Management in India
On a three-day visit to India, GAVI CEO Seth Berkley witnessed first hand, a technological innovation that’s making it possible to effectively and efficiently track vaccines in the country.
Ghaziabad, 7 January 2015: On a three-day visit to India, GAVI CEO, Dr. Seth Berkley visited the Ghaziabad district vaccine store in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, to witness a new and exciting vaccine logistics system that will revolutionize the vaccine stock management in the country. The Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN) is an indigenously developed technology system that digitizes vaccine stocks through a smartphone application. It also tracks in real-time, their movement from national vaccines stores, right down to vaccine storage points in state, district and health centres, using mobile and web-based dashboards.
- On a three-day visit to India, GAVI CEO, Seth Berkley visited a district vaccine centre in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, to witness eVin, an exciting real-time system that will track and monitor vaccine delivery in the country.
- eVIN helps healthcare workers better understand, where vaccines are stored; whether they are in adequate quantities, and confirm that they are stored at the recommended temperatures
- In partnership with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, UNDP is currently rolling out eVIN in 12 states, with support from GAVI.
- Over the next few months, UNDP will have covered over 11,000 vaccine storage points across 370 districts, having trained nearly 20,000 government cold chain handlers on eVIN.
In partnership with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, UNDP is currently rolling out eVIN in 12 states, with support from GAVI. Over the next few months, UNDP will have covered over 11,000 vaccine storage points across 370 districts, having trained nearly 20,000 government cold chain handlers on eVIN. It's a powerful innovation that will underpin the government’s efforts to ensure adequate vaccine supplies, thus improving the immunization coverage rate in India.
At a district vaccine centre in Ghaziabad located in one of India’s largest states, Dr. Berkley said, “It was fabulous to see eVIN in action. If we don't know where are our vaccines in real-time, we won't be able to ensure that every child is vaccinated.” Noting that eVIN is entirely developed in India, Dr. Berkley commended the effort as being a shining example of the success of the government’s Make in India campaign.
Sixty-five percent of India’s children are fully immunized, and the country aims to immunize 27 million children each year. While India has made huge progress in eradicating polio and eliminating neonatal tetanus, the country is home to ten million under-immunized children, about a fifth of the total among GAVI-supported countries. A key challenge for India in realizing its vision of 100 percent immunization is to address inadequate vaccine logistics and temperature monitoring systems.
Dr. Berkley was guided on how eVIN works by Ram Babu, a 45-year-old cold chain handler in Ghaziabad city, who has just been trained on this technology solution which will fundamentally change the way he works. “It has never been so simple to distribute vaccines. We now know immediately, whether we have enough stocks of vaccines and their expiration dates.” “We can plan for the future,” he adds confidently.
eVIN helps address three critical questions in vaccines logistics -- where vaccines are; whether they are in adequate quantities; and whether they are stored at recommended temperatures? Its an integrated package of product (software, temperature loggers), process (standardized vaccine stock keeping protocols) and people (cold chain handlers who are trained to implement eVIN).
When fully-rolled out, eVIN will provide real-time information on all vaccine stocks along with actual storage temperatures. This real-time data can be viewed on a web or application-based dashboard by programme managers at district, state and national levels. All vaccine stocks are digitalized by a trained cold chain handler through a smartphone application and the data is uploaded on a cloud server. Each cold chain equipment is fitted with an electronic temperature monitoring logger that is SIM enabled. This logger sends temperature data every 30 minutes. Collated data from all cold chain points provides real time visibility at national, state and district level.
eVIN will policymakers in making data-informed decisions in planning for vaccine distribution; improving supply chains; and introducing newer vaccines in the future. eVIN will also help build in an element of equity in vaccine distribution and availability across all vaccine cold chain points in the country, making it easier for India, home to the world’s largest birth cohort to plan for a healthy future for children.