IT giant Oracle and the Tony Blair Institute (TBI) announced on Tuesday the launch of the cloud-based Oracle Health Management System, which will help African countries manage large-scale vaccination programmes.
Ghana, Rwanda and Sierra Leone are the initial users of the system, which will create electronic health records for vaccination programmes for yellow fever, HPV, polio, measles and eventually Covid-19.
When the much anticipated Covid-19 vaccine is available, the Oracle Health Management System will track immunisations and provide recipients with a Digital Quick Response (QR) code.
These QR codes will help Africa reopen its borders and economies by providing citizens the proof of immunisation needed to move freely for work and travel.
The participating countries will have access and support for the system, free of charge, for ten years.
The Oracle Health Management System creates an electronic health record in a cloud database for every person as they are vaccinated.
“This highly-secure system can be quickly configured to interoperate with each country’s existing technology and meet their most stringent data sovereignty requirements. Participating countries will have access and support for the system, free of charge, for the next ten years,” TBI and Oracle said.
The system is being used by the US, as well as research and healthcare organisations to monitor Covid-19 patient symptoms, responses to treatments and to screen volunteers for Covid-19 vaccine trials.
The system enables healthcare workers and volunteers to digitally track all vaccinations to enable better identification and care.
TBI executive chairperson Tony Blair said the partnership is an exciting and potentially ground-breaking initiative for recording information on all disease vaccinations and treatments in African nations.
“Though Africa has coped well with Covid-19, it still needs to be part of international efforts to control the disease, including for international travel. That means vaccination of at least a significant portion of the population, requiring the highest quality data system so that everyone’s vaccine experience is recorded,” Blair explained.
Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr John Nkengasong says partnerships such as the one with Oracle, TBI and various governments are critical to the strengthening of African Union member States’ public health institutions.
Blair added that applying new technology solutions has applications for the digitisation of the entire economy and is crucial for the acceleration of African development.
Ghana is using the system to manage its yellow fever vaccination and has vaccinated and registered over 73 000 people in eight days.