NATHEALTH & African Health Federation organize 2nd India Africa Vaccine Summit

India’s technology inspired rapid vaccination drive applauded by key African healthcare representatives

New Delhi: With an objective to strengthen the efforts towards the vaccination drive in Africa and share best practices, and exchange knowledge NATHEALTH – Healthcare Federation of India in collaboration with Africa Healthcare Federation organized the Indo-Africa Vaccine Summit on Friday – 11th February 2022 virtually.
The Summit saw participation from key dignitaries from both India and Africa to deliberate and to offer a framework to build resilience towards future emergencies and pandemic.
Speaking about the initiative, Dr. Harsh Mahajan, President, NATHEALTH said that “Covid-19 is a global issue, and it is the need of the hour to join hands with the developing nations to help them accelerate their vaccination coverage to enhance crucial prevention against the virus. Besides lack of vaccine availability, a range of other factors from weak health systems, supply chain and myths around the vaccine are some of the key reasons behind not achieving the vaccination target set by WHO.  Despite having a huge population spread across diverse geographies that leads to logistical challenges, India has proven its capability by delivering over 1.7 billion doses, setting a record of 25+ million doses in a single day and with over 80% of its adult population fully vaccinated. We are certain that through this Summit, we will regain the required focus on ramping up vaccination drives across nations which are lagging behind.”
According to Dr. Amit Thakker, President, AHF “Vaccination is amongst the greatest pillars of protection against coronavirus. Therefore, NATHEALTH and Africa Healthcare Federation have come together to address some of the critical factors that constrain Africa’s efforts to achieve desired COVID vaccination levels and what can be learned and replicated from India’s vaccination strategy through this initiative. We hope the summit will help enlighten towards promoting effective vaccination models for African countries. This summit is a statement, a proof that together, the public and private sectors can achieve greater results.”
Talking at the summit, Dr Lia Tadesse, Hon Minister of Health Ethiopia mentioned that so far only 3% of global vaccines have been executed in Africa as vaccine delivery is the challenge and is an area where support is required. There is also a need for awareness generation about vaccination in order to reduce hesitancy among general mass and this is where a strong collaboration between the public and the private sector can play an important role. Achieving last mile reach needs more funding and mobilization of more resources along with strong political leadership while ensuring end to end transparency.
Spotlighting India’s CoWIN system, Dr. R S Sharma, Chief Executive Officer, National Health Authority, Government of India said that developing CoWin as an user friendly application was the first steppingstone for India to accelerate the vaccination drive. This further accelerated coordination between government and private hospitals. Uploading availability of the vaccine doses real time further strengthened the accessibility of vaccines. Creating a future-ready, multilingual, user-friendly, open-ended technology is a must to accelerate vaccination coverage. There was further integration of apps that worked as frontend app for CoWIN like Make My Trip and Paytm. And this was indeed one of the greatest examples of efficient and successful public-private partnership.
The speakers for the session included Dr. Harsh Mahajan, President – NATHEALTH & Founder and Chief Radiologist, Mahajan Imaging; Dr. Amit N. Thakker, President – Africa Healthcare Federation; H.E. Dr. Virander Paul, High Commissioner of India to Kenya & PR to UNEP & UN-Habitat; and Dr. R S Sharma, Chief Executive Officer, National Health Authority, Government of India.
Other speakers included Dr Lia Tadesse, Minister of Health Ethiopia; Ms.Anjali Kaur, Deputy Assistant Administrator, USAID/India; C K Mishra, Former Union Secretary, GOI, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and MoHFW, Director IPE Global ltd, and Sr. Advisor, Serum Institute, India; Mr Sanjiv Navangul, Managing Director and CEO, Bharat Serum and Vaccines Ltd; Dr Willis Akhwale, MOH Kenya, Lead of Vaccine Task Force; Mr. Rahul Mehra, Chairman & Founder, AWL India Pvt Ltd; Mr. Samit Jain, Managing Director, Pluss Advanced Technologies;
Also present as speakers were Dr Eva Njenga, Chair of Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council in Kenya; Ms Carole Kariuki, CEO of Kenya Private Sector Alliance along with Mr. Sunil Thakur, Treasurer, NATHEALTH & Partner, Quadria Capital; Mr. Ashwajit Singh, Managing Director, IPE Global Limited and Mr. Gautam Chakraborty, Development Assistance Specialist (Health Finance), USAID India.
The eminent speakers from both the countries reiterated how strengthening public-private partnership can bring best possible solutions to the existing challenges to ramp up vaccination drive especially in Africa. The summit highlighted how technological inventions helped India to achieve target vaccination coverage. The speakers exchanged their views on how cross-sectoral collaboration can address the existing challenges in supply chain, cold chain and logistical challenges.
The summit brought forth how Africa can strengthen last mile delivery of vaccines leveraging technology and with the execution of PPP model. The summit provided an opportunity to strengthen and foster south to south collaboration and bring the much-required industry support behind  making global vaccination programmes successful.