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Punjab launches vaccination apps

Updated April 30, 2015

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The initiative would help overcome the issue of tracking missed and ‘not available’ children in the province. -AP/File
The initiative would help overcome the issue of tracking missed and ‘not available’ children in the province. -AP/File

LAHORE: Punjab is all set to revolutionise the immunisation activities in the province with an innovative E-card initiative.

According to a press release issued on Wednesday, the E-vaccs card is an android-based application conceived by the provincial EPI department and developed by the Punjab Information Technology Board by which the vaccinators are able to take photograph of every immunised child and share the complete data with name, age, address, father’s phone number and immunisation history with the server through purpose-built smartphones.

It said the technology-driven innovation would resolve the longstanding issue of card retention, immunisation history, child registration and reporting accuracy to the provincial EPI cell which was striving hard to achieve at least 90 per cent routine immunisation by next two years.

The initiative would help overcome the issue of tracking missed and ‘not available’ children in the province.

By use of the application, the vaccinator by the time of administering dose, would take a picture of every child from his smartphone and share the name, photograph, address, contact detail of father/guardian with the main server, where the immunisation history would be updated. Through an arrangement with the mobile companies, the child’s father/guardian would be communicated the complete schedule of vaccination. Moreover, a day or two before the next vaccination date, a reminder SMS would be sent to parents.

As a trial, the initiative has been piloted in three districts (Multan, Vehari and Gujranwala). After completion of the pilot, the programme would be extended to the entire province.

EPI Punjab Director Dr Munir Ahmed said ensuring reporting accuracy and maintenance of immunisation history had been a challenge in the past. The innovation would help resolve some key issues that required mobilisation of teams for monitoring and accountability.

He said under the chief minister roadmap initiative, the health department provided android mobile phone sets to all vaccinators in Punjab and “this brings data of campaigns under an integrated database managed by a team of dedicated professionals of PITB for better professional efficiency.”

Published in Dawn, April 30th, 2015

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