The program was inspired by the success of the vaccination campaign in India
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 in order to improve crucial prevention against the virus.Apart from the lack of availability of vaccines, a series of other factors such as weak health systems, supply chain and myths around the vaccine are some of the main reasons why the immunization target set by the WHO was not met Despite having a huge population spread across various geographies leading to logistical challenges, India has proven its capability by delivering more than 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 peak we will regain the attention required to intensify 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, 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.
Speakers from both countries reiterated how strengthening public-private partnership can provide the best possible solutions to 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.