India today said it will help the five South East Asian countries in strengthening their immunisation programmes. Union Health secretary C K Mishra assured India’s support during a meeting with a delegation from Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Nepal here. The delegation is visiting the country to learn about the indigenously developed electronic vaccine intelligence network (eVIN), which is being implemented by the Indian government in 12 states under its Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP).
UNDP Country Director, JacoCilliers and additional country director Rakesh Kumar also met the Union Health secretary along with the representatives. “They (representatives) interacted with the Health Secretary to learn more about the global best practice of eVIN project of the Health Ministry and to understand how it is being implemented in the country and the ways in which it be replicated in their own countries,” an official statement said.
eVIN is an indigenously developed technology system in India that digitises vaccine stocks and monitors the temperature of the cold chain through a smartphone application.
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The innovative eVIN is presently being implemented across 12 states in India and aims to support the government’s UIP by providing real-time information on vaccine stocks and flows and storage temperatures across all cold chain points in these states.
The technological innovation is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
“The Ministry is ready to provide support and collaborate with other countries to strengthen their capacities and scale up their programs. This is a big boost for the ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’ initiatives of the government. This sets a benchmark in the field of immunisation,” the statement quoting Mishra said.
The delegation also shared the experience from their countries of the immunisation projects, and said their India visit will enrich them in strengthening the programmes being run their countries.
eVIN aims to strengthen the evidence base for improved policy-making in vaccine delivery, procurement and planning for new antigens in India.
Stating that India has a lot to share in terms of best practices and new learning, JacoCilliers said that such visits provide an opportunity to other countries to learn from these best practices of India in the field of immunisation and strengthen their own programmes.
“While the country is working towards enhancing the coverage of immunisation, quality of vaccines through maintenance of the right temperature is also a critical component to for the quality and efficacy of the vaccines. eVIN is a step towards ensuring that,” Kumar said.
eVIN provides an integrated solution to address widespread inequities in vaccine coverage by supporting state governments in overcoming constraints of infrastructure, monitoring and management information systems and human resources, often resulting in overstocking and stock-outs of vaccines in storage centres, the statement said.