CoWIN open-source version to be given to 50 nations

Countries from Central Asia, Africa and Latin America have indicated interest in the technology, says NHA CEO

India would soon provide an open-source version of its CoWIN application to nearly 50 countries from Central Asia, Africa and Latin America that have indicated an interest in the technology, R.S. Sharma, CEO, National Health Authority (NHA) and CoWIN platform, said on Monday at the 2nd Public Health Summit 2021 — ‘Emerging Imperative in Strengthening Public Health for India’, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

India was getting ready to share its information globally and on July 5 would participate in an international conclave where the technology would be presented. While India continued to grapple with the devastating second wave of the pandemic, vaccines seemed to be the best way forward, he stated.

CoWIN is an extension of electronic vaccine intelligence network – eVIN – which is used to collect real-time feedback of the vaccination programmes. CoWIN is a cloud-based IT solution for planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating COVID-19 vaccination in the country.

According to the operational guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination prepared by the Union Health Ministry, the CoWIN system, on a real-time basis, tracks not only the beneficiaries but also the vaccines at the national, State and district levels. It monitors the utilisation, wastage and coverage of vaccination. Also every detail, from the sites where vaccinations are carried out to the number of beneficiaries and even the batch number, doses per vial and schedule of the vaccine, are uploaded on it.

Dr. Sharma said the NHA was constantly working at improving the reach and coverage of the health care services “and in that context, would be bringing in an e-voucher system that allows immediate payment to the service provider for specific medical services. This will greatly improve the service delivery for patients”.

Prepare for outbreaks: Dr. Guleria

Speaking at the meet, Randeep Guleria, Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), pointed out that the pandemic had stressed the health care system and disrupted the medical care eco-system. “But what this has also taught us is that we have to be prepared for outbreaks. We have seen bird-flu, swine-flu, Ebola and Zika outbreaks in the past and now it’s time that we understand the importance of prevention,” he said.

The country had to work at getting health a greater share in the GDP and ensure that the human resources were available and trained. “The challenges we face include underinvestment in the health care sector, lack of the public health system being driven by technology and data and slow paced development of infrastructure. COVID-19 has taught us that the way forward is partnership and we have to undertake this in a big way,” he urged.

Doses for States

The Union Health Ministry said on Monday that more than 31.69 crore (31,69,40,160) vaccine doses had been provided to the States through the free of cost channel and through direct State procurement category. Of this, the total consumption, including wastage, was 30,54,17,617 doses (as per data available at 8 a.m. on Monday). More than 1.15 crore (1,15,22,543) balance and unutilised vaccine doses were still available with the States/UTs, it added.

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