GSK, Vodafone collaborate to help increase child vaccinations in Africa

Hannah Blake

pharmaphorum

GlaxoSmithKline and Vodafone have formed a partnership to harness innovative mobile technology to help vaccinate more children against common infectious diseases in Africa.

At first, the focus of the new partnership will be a one-year pilot vaccination project in Mozambique, supported by Save the Children and run in collaboration with the Mozambique Ministry of Health. The aim is to establish if mobile technology solutions could increase the number of children covered by vaccination in Mozambique by an additional 5-10% through helping to encourage mothers to take up vaccination services, support health workers, improve record keeping, and enable better management of vaccine stock.

“Innovative technologies – whether mobile devices, medicines or vaccines – are helping to transform global health. Organisations such as UNICEF and GAVI have played a key role in making vaccines much more accessible in Africa but barriers still exist which stop children from benefitting from basic immunisation. This new partnership combines GSK’s expertise, knowledge and resources with those of Vodafone with the potential to deliver life-saving vaccines to tens of thousands more children in Mozambique. Our hope is that together we will create a sustainable and scalable model which could ultimately be replicated to help more children live healthy lives across developing countries.”

Sir Andrew Witty, CEO of GSK.

The pilot will include up to 100 clinics and will be independently tested to prove its impact, effectiveness and cost benefits. To ensure open access, the platform will be available to caregivers across any mobile network and can be used to increase take-up of any selected vaccine.

“Vodafone is committed to investing in mobile technologies that can transform healthcare in both developed and emerging markets. These partnerships have the potential to save millions of children’s lives in some of the world’s poorest countries and we are delighted to support this critically important endeavour.”

Vittorio Colao, CEO of Vodafone.

If successful, the project will create a model that can be replicated throughout Mozambique and scaled across Africa to reach thousands more children with life-saving vaccination. Despite major advances in the vaccination space, it’s estimated that up to a fifth of children worldwide still don’t receive basic vaccines.

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Related news:

Vodafone and GSK link on African vaccines programme (Reuters)

Reference links:

GSK official press release

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