Vodafone Leads Two Mobile Vaccination Programmes in Africa

Vodafone has announced two partnerships that will use mobile to increase childhood vaccination levels in sub-Saharan Africa.

With access to mobile phones rapidly rising in the developing world, a significant opportunity exists for mobile technology to help save lives.

Vodafone is working with the GAVI Alliance and the UK Department for International Development to explore how health ministries in 73 of the world’s poorest countries can use mobile technology to improve immunisation programmes. The UK Government will match Vodafone’s contribution of technology and services with a $1.5m cash contribution.

Vodafone is also working with GlaxoSmithKline, supported by Save the Children, on a one year pilot with the Mozambique Ministry of Health. The team will establish the effectiveness of mobile technology in increasing vaccination coverage by between 5-10 per cent.

Vodafone will develop the technology, provide handsets to health workers and integrating the solution into country’s health institution. Save the Children will help train health workers and test the solution. If the pilot is successful, the team will scale the technology to 1,500 clinics across Mozambique and extend the work to other countries.

Both partnerships draw on Vodafone’s experience of developing commercial mobile health solutions. 5,000 clinics across Tanzania already use Vodafone’s mobile stock management service to track malaria treatments. More than 1,800 remote community healthcare workers in South Africa use a mobile solution from Vodafone to access and update patient records.

This work supports the global goal to vaccinate 250,000 more children a year and avert 4m deaths from preventable diseases by 2015. The World Health Organisation says that vaccinations are the most cost-effective public health intervention after clean water supplies.

More than 1m children die every year from vaccine-preventable diseases and 22m children worldwide remain unimmunised.