As the government has been rolling out countrywide vaccination programmes, Aspire to Innovate-a2i programme of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is extending technical support to the government of Bangladesh in helping millions of citizens build immunity against a virus that wreaked havoc across the world.
The platform “Surokkha”, developed by Department of ICT of the ICT Division, has already gained widespread attention as citizens are registering to receive the vaccine in throngs. This platform registers people for vaccination by verifying their national identity card and mobile number. It also takes into account the priority groups for vaccination. Surokkha provides information on vaccine registration status, vaccination schedule, vaccine card and certificate and also addresses commonly asked queries. a2i and Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) provided technical guidance on Surokkha.
The national helpline 333, supported by a2i, has also been providing assistance to citizens on vaccination registration.
The Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) for COVID-19 Is being developed by customizing the software of the Directorate General of Drug Administration funded by a2i’s Innovation Fund. This will enable the health administration to monitor post-vaccination side effects. Vaccinees experiencing adverse side effects can self-report by calling the National Telehealth Centre at 333 established by a2i.
Further epidemiological analysis will occur from the reports of AEFI with guidance from national and international epidemiologists and data scientists, a team that a2i has facilitated throughout the pandemic.
a2i is working closely with DoICT and DGHS to develop the vaccination certification module of international standard. The certificate will be provided to the vaccine receivers after completing the full dosage, and will allow seamless integration to internationally accepted electronic certification systems.
a2i previously developed the National Covid-19 Policy Dashboard, used by officials of Directorate General of Health Services, Cabinet Division, and DCs. This dashboard guides policymakers to take prompt, needs-based and high-impact interventions during the pandemic. The dashboard will also integrate the vaccine monitoring analytics for the convenience of civil surgeons and DCs’ decision-making on public health. Much of the COVID-19 data analysis work carried out by a2i was supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Awareness on vaccination is crucial. a2i will support the government to roll out a widespread vaccine awareness campaign to ensure no one gets left behind, and the vaccine reaches people from every walk of life.