The clinic was launched in collaboration with Gates Foundation; the concept will take vaccination to schools, colleges and corporates and deliver the service at their doorsteps
Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad’s Center for Healthcare Entrepreneurship (CfHE) Fellow Jignesh Patel has recently launched a Vaccination on Wheels Clinic in Pune, a first-of-its-kind service in India. This is being done in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which provided a grant to Patel under its Grand Challenges Explorations.
Called ‘VaccineOnWheels.com’ as they have adopted VOW (Vaccination On Wheels) concept, this clinic will go to schools, colleges and corporates to conduct vaccination camps at their doorsteps. It will offer only vaccination services. This unique, unconventional, creative, low-cost and high on convenience model has been designed with the idea of ‘reaching the bottom of the pyramid.’
Prof Renu John, Co-Head, CfHE, and Head, Department of Biomedical Engineering, IIT Hyderabad, said, “This is a unique programme that works hand-in-hand with the government to cover the last mile in delivering vaccines to people of all strata of the society.”
Awareness camps are conducted in community areas through this vaccine clinic with the help of animated videos designed in Marathi and Hindi languages. With these videos and group discussions, the clinic motivates mothers to avail free vaccines from the government.
Jivika Healthcare Social Workers will explain how vaccines can save lives of children and help save money by avoiding hospitalisation. Every week between Monday and Saturday, the social workers create awareness and utilise Sunday to invite interested families to visit the clinic for the vaccination drive.
Speaking about the goals of VaccineOnWheels.com, Patel said, “We have taken this mission to support government and society in getting children fully immunised as per World Health Organization (WHO) and Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) standards for children who are taking vaccination from government centres. With this mission in mind, our social workers and nurses conduct awareness camps in various community areas where the government conducts immunisation camps. Through the awareness drive, we educate mothers to get their children vaccinated.”
The one-year Residential Healthcare Entrepreneurship Programme at CfHE, IIT Hyderabad, helped Patel to understand the gaps in vaccine delivery model from close quarters and identify various issues faced by diverse stakeholders primarily from infants/caregivers/parents in getting vaccinated.
The initiative of Jivika Healthcare’s VaccineOnWheels.com is supported by paediatric doctors of Pune — Dr Jayant Navarange and Dr Sadhana Lachyan.
On the day of inauguration, Jivika’s healthcare team successfully administered 27 vaccinations to the children from low-income group families. Jivika Healthcare is highly motivated to vaccinate more and more children and everyone in the family. As the more vaccinated people, the fewer opportunities a disease can spread and in-turn it will help save millions of lives.