IIT Hyderabad Fellow Launches 'Vaccination On Wheels' In Collaboration With Gates Foundation
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.
Jigneh Patel, a fellow at the Center for Healthcare Entrepreneurship (CfHE) at IIT Hyderabad, has launched a Vaccination on Wheels Clinic in Pune. The one of its kind service has been started in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Mr. Patel had received a grant under the Foundation's 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.
The service was launched on December 15, 2019 in Pune city's PCMC area. This unique, unconventional, creative, low-cost and high on convenience model has been designed with the idea of 'reaching the bottom of the pyramid.'
Mr. Jignesh Patel founded Jivika Healthcare to provide this vaccination service. There are many additional features which makes it a unique vaccination service. The service provides low-cost vaccination service to low-income groups. It is also involved in raising awareness about government's immunization programme and sells only those vaccines which are not provided through government. The service also boasts of cold chain maintenance as per WHO guidelines.
Prof. Renu John who is the Co-Head for CfHE and is also the Head of Department for Biomedical Engineering department at IIT Hyderabad said that the VOW service will work hand-in-hand with the government to make vaccines available to the lowest strata of the society.
Through VOW, Mr. Patel is also conducting awareness camps with the help of animated videos designed in Marathi and Hindi languages. Through the videos and group discussions which follow after, the clinic is motivating mothers to avail free vaccination from the government.
Talking about the goals for this programme, Mr. Jignesh Patel said, "We have taken this mission to support government and society in getting children fully immunized 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 immunization camps. Through the awareness drive, we educate mothers to get their children vaccinated."
Mr. Patel is a part of the one-year Residential Healthcare Entrepreneurship Programme at CfHE, IIT Hyderabad. He says that the programme helped him 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.
Grand Challenges Explorations is a US $100 million initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It supports innovative thinkers worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mould in how we solve persistent global health and development challenges. Mr. Jignesh Patel's project was one of the approximately 50 Grand Challenges Explorations for which grants were announced by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
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