Geneva, 11 July 2018 – Shifo, the Swedish-based non-governmental organisation, has launched the “Every Child Counts The Gambia” programme to drive the implementation of their MyChild Solution – the use of a central scanning station to digitise paper-based child registration forms filled in by health workers.
“The Government of The Gambia has prioritised strengthening child registration, improving processes and tools for health workers and child health services, and strengthening data quality for informed decision-making,” said the former Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Saffie Lowe Ceesay. “MyChild Solution has come to strengthen these three areas and it is a timely solution for The Gambia.”
Gavi is contributing funding and expertise to the programme. Initial funding from Action Aid International The Gambia, The Swedish Postcode Foundation, af Jochnick Foundation and IKARE Ltd was doubled by the Dutch government via Gavi’s Matching Fund to reach a total of €1.8 million.
“We are proud to be supporting Shifo in The Gambia. This type of innovative solution is exactly what is needed in low-resource settings to reach every last child with life-saving vaccines and will hopefully enable the Gambian government to further strengthen their immunisation activities,” said Sigrid Kaag, the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.
“One in four children worldwide do not formally exist, because their birth has not been registered,” said Dr Seth Berkley, Gavi CEO. “Innovative approaches like MyChild can help us provide every child with a digital health record, even in remote areas without electricity or internet. This is a crucial step towards protecting every child against vaccine-preventable diseases.”
Since their launch five years ago, Shifo has helped to register more than 200,000 children and ensured that more than 50,000 are fully-immunised with all vaccines available through The Gambia’s routine immunisation programme
“We know how to scale MyChild Solution at the district and regional levels and bring necessary processes for systemic change and sustainability. In The Gambia, we intend to demonstrate how systemic change can occur at a national level, thanks to Shifo's ongoing experiences in Uganda, Afghanistan and other countries,” said Shifo Director Rustam Nabiev, speaking at the launch of Every Child Counts The Gambia programme.
In 2016, Gavi selected Shifo as a pacesetter for their innovation platform, INFUSE, which scales up tried and tested innovations to improve vaccine coverage. In order to support more innovations like MyChild, the 2018 INFUSE theme is registration and verification of identity.
“The MyChild Solution will facilitate access to preventive child health services and provide high quality, relevant information regardless of infrastructural limitations. The organisation has given its unflinching commitment to work with Shifo on the programme as well as the onward scaling up of the project nationally.”
Omar Badji, Executive Director, ActionAid International The Gambia
“We have been working with Shifo for a while and like their approach to alter their methods to ensure their programmes are sustainable and bring real time value to improve the quality of care to current and next generations. We support Shifo in achieving its vision of no child mortality or suffering from preventable diseases in Gambia and we look forward to more valuable learning and outcomes from the project.”
Marie Dahllöf, Secretary General, The Swedish Postcode Foundation
“It’s only by strengthening health systems and making sure we act based on the data at a facility and district level that we can know exactly which facilities are under performing and where the gaps are. As a sustainable and cost effective innovation, not only does MyChild provide a solid base for registering all children at birth and ensuring they are immunised on a timely basis, but it also allows for systemic change and continuous quality improvement in the health sector.”
Anne Holm Rannaleet, Executive Director, IKARE
“We know that Shifo cares about the end result - that the existing health system should sustain the gains. That's why we are proud to join the consortium and ensure we can integrate 100% of all operational processes into existing health system structure.”
Kajsa Åberg, CEO, af Jochnick Foundation
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is supported by donor governments (Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, the People’s Republic of China, Republic of Korea, Russia, South Africa, Spain, the State of Qatar, the Sultanate of Oman, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States), the European Commission, Alwaleed Philanthropies, the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as well as private and corporate partners (Absolute Return for Kids, Anglo American plc., The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, China Merchants Group, Comic Relief, Deutsche Post DHL, the ELMA Vaccines and Immunization Foundation, Girl Effect, The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers (IFPW), the Gulf Youth Alliance, JP Morgan, “la Caixa” Foundation, LDS Charities, Lions Clubs International Foundation, Majid Al Futtaim, Orange, Philips, Reckitt Benckiser, Unilever, UPS and Vodafone).
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