Innovative Immunization trial goes live in Busia County Kenya and Uganda

A collaboration program between USAID, IGAD, Broadreach, Duke University and Jembi Health Systems NPC has seen the launch of one of the first truly innovative immunization solutions in Africa.

Designed to provide cross border tracking of immunization records initially for children under the age of 5 years, the solution uses Near Field Communication (NFC) Technology to allow caregivers to manage their dependents records using technology appropriate to the region.

Typically used in commercial banking, transport and security applications, Jembi identified this technology as a means of securely storing an entire immunization history on this portable and cost-effective personal card while simultaneously saving that history to a national server for backup and reporting purposes.

“This unique technology enables a healthcare worker to efficiently process patients while considerably reducing their workload, thereby allowing more direct engagement instead of filling in forms. With all this information now captured digitally, upward reporting becomes autonomous and almost instantaneous as well as continuity of care. For the caregiver and infant, having a secure copy of this record available digitally at any facility across the region – and on demand – is a huge relief if a card is misplaced or identity security is an issue. We also believe that this technology lends itself really well to other opportunities in reducing health worker workflow in the region” said Dr Chris Seebregts CEO of Jembi Health Systems.

The trial, currently installed and running in four clinics in the Busia / Tororo border region between Kenya and Uganda was successfully launched on Monday 24th September 2018. Following a morning of training, each facility was able to process their full compliment of new born immunizations daily, distributing over 180 caregiver cards and processing 750 immunization events in the first week of the trial with minimal impact on normal workflow.

Rowan Pillay (Jembi) Emanuel Omunyot (Administrator Uganda Locations) Dr Ahmed Bashier (IGAD)

“Health innovation is an important step in ensuring patients receive quality care and health resources are well utilized. IGAD shares these values with Jembi and knows it will lead to great partnerships with Jembi” said Dr Ahmed Bashir IGAD program manager, “the speed of uptake of this solution by the health workers has been phenomenal, with nearly all health workers across the facilities being able to understand the benefits as well as translate that into action almost immediately. Using NFC in this setting is so innovative and so potentially disruptive that we see it changing the way health data is managed and reported across our region. Jembi has shown that its unique approach to problem solving has the potential to change the way IGAD are able to make informed decisions going forward”.

For the next few months, Jembi will be closely monitoring and reviewing the outcomes of this trial with the aim of refining and optimizing the solution. By open-sourcing the solution, hopefully other immunization programs will be able to adopt and integrate this technology into their solutions, with the aim of a single interoperable immunization program across the region. In addition, Jembi will be developing hands-on training course material to enable local partners to fully adopt the solution and provide local support, training and administration.