Pioneering for the future
Optimize is improving the accuracy of and way immunization data is reported in Vietnam.
With the expansion of electrical, telecommunication, and transportation networks in Vietnam, the country is well poised to modernize its immunization supply system. Project Optimize, a collaboration between the World Health Organization and PATH, and Vietnam’s National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology are working together to test new technologies and system designs that will support an immunization supply system expansion while also building a national long-term vision for immunization services.
Initially, efforts focused on the identification of the strengths and challenges of the supply and logistics systems of the country’s National Expanded Program on Immunization (NEPI) to better understand how the system could be improved. Demonstration projects were then designed in collaboration with Vietnam’s Ministry of Health and NEPI to build upon the program’s capabilities and help manage the growing vaccination landscape. As these demonstration projects are implemented in 13 provinces, work is ongoing to develop a long-term vision for the country’s immunization supply systems.
Work in Vietnam includes the following activities:
Optimize is strengthening systems to enable new vaccines to reach new target groups.
- Introduction of battery-free solar refrigerators in district-level health centers for vaccine cooling without reliance on the electric grid.
- Implementation of electronic vaccine tracking and immunization reporting through a new information system utilizing both web and mobile networks.
- Introduction of a digital immunization registry to increase the accuracy and timeliness of immunization records.
- Collaboration with NEPI as it adopts more rigorous procedures and training to improve vaccine management.
- Collaboration with POLYVAC, a vaccine manufacturer and the Vietnam Ministry of Health to encourage the use of vaccine vial monitors (VVMs) on measles vaccine as well as training and technical support on VVM use.
- Comparison of costs and benefits of the existing vaccine supply chain with potential interventions such as those described above.
Benefits to Vietnam and the region
The Optimize team will engage current and new stakeholders in our work, build capacity within NEPI, and share information that we are generating from our projects in other countries. We anticipate the results of the projects in Vietnam will provide several benefits to the country and its neighbors, including:
- Identifying technologies that could improve Vietnam’s immunization system over the long term.
- Demonstrating ways that Vietnam’s health programs could take advantage of communication technologies to improve the work of health staff, information management, and services for Vietnamese people.
- Strengthening the capacity of the government and local private-sector technology companies to further advance technologies.
- Increasing local and international partners’ awareness of the importance of strong health logistics systems and interest in furthering the work that Optimize begins in Vietnam.
- Demonstrating the value of strengthening management and supervision services for vaccine management within the national immunization program.
By collaborating with Vietnam to advance its immunization system, we hope to provide children with enhanced protection against vaccine-preventable illnesses.
Photos, from top: Philippe Blanc, PATH/Amynah Janmohamed.