Immunization is one of the most cost-effective interventions to prevent avoidable sickness, disability and death. In India, one-third of our children are not vaccinated. Most vaccines are heat sensitive and remain potent between 2 degree celsius and 8 degree celsius. Thus maintaining a cold chain becomes critical to their efficacy. At least 25 per cent of the vaccines go waste even before reaching the doctors and patients while many lose their efficacy by the time they are administered. There are a few key factors that contribute to this wastage. One is the cold chain infrastructure, the ability to store, transport and sell temperature sensitive products. The second problem is frequent power outages, so that even if cold chain infrastructure is available, lack of real-time monitoring of temperature will lead to 25% wastage. This is a major challenge to the government which is trying to expand the immunisation coverage.
An end-to-end IT solution for cold chain monitoring is required. A real time electronic vaccine intelligence network which will enable vaccine stock management as well as monitoring of cold chain temperature through smart wireless sensor based technology, sending data to the cloud and alerts to pharma and logistic chains is required.
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