ROURKELA: After introduction of electronic vaccination intelligence network (eVIN), the tribal-dominated Sundargarh district is working towards equipping cold chain points with temperature loggers under the eVIN system to strictly enable storage of vaccines at recommended temperature.
Funded by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI), the eVIN is being implemented by UNDP in association with the Union Ministry of Health in 12 States, including Odisha.
Sources said the District Vaccines Stores (DVSs) at district headquarters hospital (DHH) and Rourkela Government Hospital receive vaccines from Bhubaneswar and supply these to the last storage points at 47 Ice Line Refrigerators (ILRs) or cold chain points before they are distributed to primary health centres (PHCs).
In October 2016, the eVIN process started rolling out in the district and in the next few months, all cold chain points will be connected. Immediate real-time data on vaccine stocks have come as a boost for policy makers to plan outreach routine and special immunisation programmes effectively. Previously, vaccine stock position was being sent once a month.
UNDP Project Officer (Operations) for Sundargarh region Narendra Sekhar Behera said cold chain handlers, who are trained health workers, have been provided with smart phones to upload data on the secured eVIN app after routine immunisation programme. He said after initial hiccups, it took at least three months for the health workers to get used to the system and the results are outstanding.
The Project Officer said the process for installation of temperature loggers is underway as 19 of the 47 cold chain points have been covered. The loggers are connected to eVIN system to maintain temperature at 2-8 degrees Celsius and any variation will sound an alarm. He said maintaining the recommended temperature is a must to keep the vaccines safe. Now, from even a central point, real-time temperature could be monitored. The rest of ILRs would be covered by August.
District Programme Manager for National Health Mission Deepak Mohanty said a massive change is taking place, adding that poor internet network in remote rural pockets may pose problems. Alternative arrangements are being made, he said.