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NATHEALTH and the African Health Federation Organized the Second India-Africa Health Summit: India’s Tech-Inspired Rapid Vaccination Campaign Applauded by Leading African Health Officials

Posted on February 15, 2022

  • Will open a new frontier for south-south collaboration and innovation transfer
  • The program was inspired by the success of the vaccination campaign in India

New Delhi : With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, several countries around the world are accelerating the vaccination of the eligible population to protect them against the virus. With the aim of strengthening immunization efforts in Africa, sharing best practices and exchanging knowledge, NATHEALTH – Healthcare Federation of India, in collaboration with Africa Healthcare Federation, hosted the Indo-Africa Vaccine Summit virtually on Friday, February 11, 2022. The Summit saw the participation of key dignitaries from India and Africa to deliberate and provide a framework to build resilience in the face of future emergencies and pandemics.

Speaking about the initiative, Dr. Harsh Mahajan, President of NATHEALTH, said that “Covid-19 is a global problem, and there is an urgent need to join developing countries in helping them to accelerate their vaccination coverage to improve crucial prevention against the virus. In addition to the lack of vaccine availability, a series other factors such as weak health systems, supply chain and myths around the vaccine are some of the main reasons why the vaccination target set by the WHO has not been met. Despite a huge population spread across various geographies resulting in logistical challenges, India proved its capacity by delivering over 1.7 billion doses, setting a record of over 25 million doses in a single day and with over 80% of its adult population fully immunized.. We are confident that through this summit, we will regain the attention required to scale up vaccination campaigns in countries that are lagging behind.

According to Dr. Amit Thakker, President of AHF, “Vaccination is one of the biggest pillars of protection against Coronavirus. Therefore, NATHEALTH and Africa Healthcare Federation have come together to address some of the critical factors that limit the Africa’s efforts to achieve desired COVID vaccination levels and what can be learned and replicated from India’s vaccination strategy through this initiative.We hope the summit will help inform the promotion of effective vaccination models for African countries. This summit is a declaration, a proof that together, the public and private sectors can achieve better results.

Speaking at the summit, Dr Lia Tadesse, the Honorable Ethiopian Minister of Health mentioned that so far only 3% of global vaccines have been executed in Africa, as vaccine delivery is a challenge and an area where support is needed. There is also a need for immunization awareness to reduce general mass hesitancy and this is where close collaboration between the public and private sectors can play an important role. Reaching the last mile requires more funding and the mobilization of more resources as well as strong political leadership while ensuring end-to-end transparency.

Highlighting India’s CoWIN system, Dr. RS Sharma, Director General of the National Health Authority, Government of India, said that the development of CoWin as a user-friendly application was the first stepping stone for India to accelerate the vaccination campaign. This has further accelerated coordination between government and private hospitals. Downloading vaccine dose availability in real time has further enhanced vaccine accessibility. Creating future-ready, multilingual, user-friendly and scalable technology is critical to accelerating immunization coverage. There was further integration of apps that worked as a front end for CoWIN like Make My Trip and Paytm. And it was indeed one of the greatest examples of effective and successful public-private partnership.

Session speakers included Dr. Harsh Mahajan, President – NATHEALTH and Founder and Chief Radiologist, Mahajan Imaging; Dr. Amit N. Thakker, President – ​​African Healthcare Federation; HE Dr. Virander Paul, High Commissioner of India to Kenya & PR to UNEP & UN-Habitat; Dr RS Sharma, Director General, National Health Authority, Government of India; Dr Lia Tadesse, Ethiopian Minister of Health; Ms. Anjali Kaur, Deputy Assistant Administrator, USAID/India; Shri CK Mishra, Former Union Secretary, GOI, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, and MoHFW, Director IPE Global ltd, and Senior Advisor, Serum Institute, India; Mr. Sanjiv Navangul, Managing Director and CEO, Bharat Serum and Vaccines Ltd; Dr. Willis Akhwale, MOH Kenya, Vaccine Task Force Leader; Mr. Rahul Mehra, Chairman and Founder, AWL India Pvt Ltd; Mr. Samit Jain, Managing Director, Pluss Advanced Technologies; Dr Eva Njenga, President of the Council of Physicians and Dentists of Kenya; Ms. Carole Kariuki, CEO of Kenya Private Sector Alliance with Mr. Sunil Thakur, Treasurer, NATHEALTH & Partner, Quadria Capital; Mr. Ashwajit Singh, Managing Director, IPE Global Limited and Mr. Gautam Chakraborty, Development Assistance Specialist (Health Financing), USAID India.

The eminent speakers from the two countries reiterated how strengthening the public-private partnership can provide the best possible solutions to the existing challenges to accelerate the vaccination campaign, especially in Africa. The summit highlighted how technological inventions have helped India achieve target immunization coverage. Speakers exchanged views on how cross-industry collaboration can address existing challenges in supply chain, cold chain and logistics challenges. The summit showcased how Africa can strengthen last mile delivery of vaccines by leveraging technology and with the execution of the PPP model. The summit was an opportunity to strengthen and foster South-South collaboration and provide much-needed industry support to ensure the success of global immunization programs.

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