TBI and Oracle launches cloud-based vaccine management system in Africa

November 25, 2020 0 By FM

The Tony Blair Institute (TBI) and Oracle have brought the new cloud technology, Oracle Health Management System, to Africa to digitize and unify national health data starting with the management of vaccinations and to handle public health programmes.

Initially, Ghana, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone will use the system to create electronic health records for their vaccination programmes for yellow fever, HPV, polio, measles, and COVID-19, as soon as that vaccine is distributed to Africa.

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.

The system is currently being used by the US government and large healthcare and research organizations to monitor COVID-19 patient symptoms, responses to treatments, and to screen volunteers for COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials.

“By working with TBI over a period of a few months, we were able to deliver the exact same cloud technology to Ghana, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone. This is the first time vaccine data has been stored in a cloud database on a national scale,” said Oracle Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison.

Ghana is now using the system to manage its yellow fever vaccine programme and will follow with COVID-19 once that vaccine is distributed in Africa.“The move from Ghana’s current paper-based vaccination campaign records to digital data management using the Oracle platform will enable our data to be easily accessible by authorized persons. The data will be more secure, and there will be no worry about lost cards as people travel,” added Dr. Kwame Amponsa-Achiano, Expanded Programme on Immunization, Ghana Health Service.

Sierra Leone is preparing to use the system to create digital vaccination records when its next routine Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) campaign begins. EPI is a global initiative to vaccinate for polio, diphtheria, tuberculosis, pertussis, measles, and tetanus. It is estimated to prevent two to three million childhood deaths globally each year from these diseases. Sierra Leone’s EPI program reportedly covers 95% of eligible children in that country.

As countries begin vaccinating people for COVID-19, the Oracle Health Management System can be used to automatically create an electronic health record for every person vaccinated. Once the COVID-19 vaccine is available, the system will track immunizations and provide recipients with a Digital Quick Response (QR) code. These QR codes will help Africa reopen its borders and economies by providing citizens with the proof of immunization needed to move freely for work and travel.

Chief Innovation Officer and Minister of Education of Sierra Leone, Dr David Moinina Sengeh, noted, “Using our experience from Ebola, we were able to put together a robust National COVID-19 Response plan, which has technology, data, and innovation as core enablers. This collaboration with Oracle and TBI is significant not only for dealing with COVID-19 and broader health needs, such as EPI vaccinations but will be a key step in our country’s mission of digitization for all.”

TBI and Oracle are in discussions with more than thirty other countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America that are evaluating using the same cloud system to manage their COVID-19 vaccination programmes.