Vodacom Group partners with AUDA-NEPAD for major vaccine roll-out

Gabby Fernie

Vodacom Group, an African communications company, has teamed up with the African Union Development Agency AUDA-NEPAD to offer the mVacciNation digital toolbox - a mobile technology platform that manages vaccination appointments and stock availability - to accelerate the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out.

In South Africa, the National Department of Health has 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. The mVaccination digital toolbox has also been successfully deployed in Mozambique, Tanzania and Nigeria to manage infant inoculations.

Following its success in South Africa, Vodacom Group - part of Vodafone Group - will work with AUDA-NEPAD to build digital infrastructure to manage vaccinations across up to 55 countries.

The roll-out of mVacciNation 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.

The mVacciNation platform has two core components and a control tower, to ensure people get the right vaccine, at the right place and time. A supply chain component provides real-time information for health workers of all available vaccines and medical equipment (like syringes and supplies) nationally. A beneficiary management component allows individuals to register on the platform and assigns them to vaccine service points on a specific day and time. A 'control tower' 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 the vaccination is completed, the individual will receive an electronic certification.

“Vodacom has been at the forefront of helping governments where we operate to curb the spread of COVID-19. Making our mVacciNation platform available to all African countries will significantly enhance the continent’s digital health infrastructure for the long-term" said CEO of Vodacom Group, Shameel Joosub. "Our contribution will improve the capability of African countries in this pandemic and beyond for vaccine distribution, management and surveillance, even in resource-constrained settings."