Shifo Advisor Karoline Beronius recently returned from Dakar, Senegal, where she moderated a panel on information and communication technology in clinical trials at the EBODAC symposium. The EBODAC (Ebola vaccine Deployment, Acceptance and Compliance) project is developing strategies and tools to promote the acceptance and uptake of new Ebola vaccines and to ensure that the right person receives the right vaccine at the right time.
The panel focused on learning outcomes of using technology in the EBODAC project, clinical trials in general and community engagement work around vaccination. The panel discussed opportunities for scaling developed solutions, integrating them into existing structures and sustaining them for improved health service delivery, research and preparedness for a next potential outbreak.
It was highlighted that simplification and integration are key for scaling and sustaining developed technologies, and that it is important to improve the feedback loop in community engagement as well as to frontline health workers. Panellists agreed on the importance of sharing learning outcomes to improve preparedness in the event of a new outbreak of Ebola, or other diseases.
During the break following the panel, Karoline demonstrated MyChild System and MyChild Card to participants and consortium members, who represented international development cooperation agencies, vaccine manufacturers, universities, NGOs, governments and other stakeholders. MyChild System was developed with the objective of improving routine vaccination and follow-up of other preventive health services, but can be customised to support vaccination in an emergency setting. MyChild Card works with Smart Paper Technology, and has been developed with the objective of being able to scale to the most rural health centres where technical resources are scarce and electricity at best intermittent.
“The EBODAC stakeholders confirmed the need for systematic and integrated approaches to vaccination and we exchanged ideas on integration and interoperability. I believe that MyChild Card could enhance efforts to vaccinate against Ebola and play a particularly important role in areas with limited electricity and connectivity. Besides ensuring that every person is followed up to receive all necessary vaccinations (e.g. prime and booster), MyChild System also provides accurate and relevant data to key actors (e.g. frontline health workers, management, government, researchers) for making evidence-based decisions”, says Karoline.