More than 4.12 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines had been administered in Malawi by September 13, 2022, with 2.05 million people fully vaccinated. This represents 10.7 per cent of the population, according to Malawi Covid Vaccine Statistics.
Meanwhile, the Japanese Government has provided US$1 million (more than MK1 billion) to UNICEF Malawi to strengthen vaccine information systems in Malawi.
This includes real-time monitoring of Covid-19 vaccination coverage, routine immunizations and individuals receiving vaccines.
A joint statement from UNICEF Malawi and Embassy of Japan says this support will reach nearly 3.6 million people with Covid-19 vaccines, 650, 000 under 1-year-old children with routine immunization, and more than 11, 000 health workers across 865 health facilities in the country.
The statement says since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Malawi has introduced and adapted some of the existing digital health systems to collect, analyse and report information about the spread and containment of the disease. Still, multiple challenges limit the functioning of the systems.
With this funding, UNICEF will work with the Ministry of Health to deploy innovative tools that capture, transmit and aggregate data in real-time, enabling authorities to make better and timely decisions in response to the pandemic and strengthen routine immunization systems.
UNICEF Malawi Acting Representative Gerrit Maritz said as Malawi continues to respond to Covid-19 and build back batter, his organization committed to strengthening health systems by designing and deploying digitally-enabled solutions that are key to quality healthcare services.
“This valuable contribution from the people of Japan will go a long way in expanding immunizations to reach all who need life-saving vaccines, including children,” said Maritz.
In his remarks, the Japanese Ambassador to Malawi, Satoshi Iwakiri, said his government recognises the importance of digitalising the health system for future epidemics to protect people.
Iwakiri said the grant from the people of Japan will help facilitate easy identification of unvaccinated people and enable health workers to devise solutions to increase vaccine coverage effectively and to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
In the past years, UNICEF has been working with the Ministry of Health to improve its health information systems from paper-based to digital health platforms, including platforms for immunization. Some of these systems include the District Health Information Systems, Electronic Health Intelligence Network and Logistics Management Information System (OpenLMIS), which capture and provide information on the country’s vaccine stocks.
Most recently, UNICEF has also helped the Ministry of Health to deploy RapidPro – an SMS-based mobile health monitoring tool that captures, transmits, and aggregates data in real-time – in the polio vaccination response.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :