Vodafone and GSK link up on African vaccines programme

BRITISH mobile phone network Vodafone and drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline yesterday launched a new project combining phones and drugs to increase vaccination rates in Africa.

The one-year pilot project in Mozambique will see Vodafone and GSK register mothers on a database, and provide information and appointments for child vaccinations by text.

It is hoped that child vaccination rates will increase by as much as 10 per cent.

Vodafone is also partnered with non-profit organisation Gavi Alliance to study how mobile technology can improve immunisation across sub-Saharan Africa.

The new project will last three years, and is supported by the British government, which is matching Vodafone’s technological contribution with a $1.5m (£933,000) donation to Gavi.

The initiative is part of a new programme to improve African healthcare using mobile phones, which has already produced successful schemes, such as ensuring that patients take HIV/AIDS medication properly.