Public health officials now have faster and easier access to accurate data on the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Jamaica through the full rollout of the COVID-19 Vaccination CommCare Software.
The technology, which has already been introduced at hospitals, health centres and special vaccination centres across the island, provides the Health Ministry with information on vaccine doses and sites and enables the analysis of data by parishes and regions, including allowing for time-frame comparisons.
It was purchased by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) with training sponsored by the Private Sector Vaccination Initiative (PSVI).
Addressing a virtual ceremony to officially launch the system on Monday (June 14), Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, said it is allowing for real-time data gathering and efficiency in decision-making.
He said given the magnitude of the vaccination programme, which has the goal of inoculating some 1.9 million Jamaicans, a solution is now in place that “allows for ease of data entry and analysis of the target population”.
In highlighting the efficiency of the system, Dr. Tufton said that with the use of this technology “we can quickly report and announce that 10,608 Jamaicans have been inoculated with the second dose of the vaccine, while 815 received their first dose during the vaccination blitz held over the past weekend (June 12 and 13)”.
Minister Tufton also reported that leading up to the introduction of the CommCare Software, approximately 150 health workers were trained in its use, and they have gone on to train more than 1,000 others, including medical officers, public health nurses, medical records officers, information technology officers and community health aides.
He thanked UNICF and PSVI for the support provided.
Country Representative for UNICEF, Mariko Kagoshima, in her remarks said the software helps in the management of the COVID-19 vaccination process.
She said that the investment is a “demonstration of strong drive and leadership for the transformation of the health sector in Jamaica and UNICEF is grateful to be a part of this innovative initiative”.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the PSVI, Peter Melhado, said his group is committed to supporting the vaccination programme, not only in terms of logistics and on technical matters but also mobilising the support of the productive sector to increase take-up of the vaccine.
“So we are going to work hard at preregistering persons to get vaccinated,” he pledged.