On Tuesday, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe received a Global Mobile Award for its Energize the Chain Vaccine Project. The project which was in partnership with Zimbabwe’s leading mobile network operator won under Category 1 of The Connected Life Awards as the Best Mobile Health Product or Service. The Global Mobile Awards recognise the most outstanding companies that use mobile technology to add value and to benefit different communities.
Essentially, Energize the Chain’s (EtC) aspiration is to eradicate vaccine-preventable deaths worldwide by preserving and extending the vaccination cold chain to ensure delivery of effective vaccines. The way it works is that, the power at Econet Wireless’ mobile phone base stations is used as the energy source to power vaccine refrigeration units in remote locations that currently lack the energy infrastructure needed to preserve the cold chain.
This addresses the alarming fact that every year vaccine-preventable diseases result in over two million deaths of children under the age of 5 years, many due to the disruption of the cold chain that renders temperature-sensitive vaccines ineffective.
In Zambia the probability of dying under 5 years of age is 89 per 1,000 live births according to 2012 WHO statistics. Meanwhile only 6.1% of of GDP is the total expenditure on health as 2011. With innovative ideas like the EtC many children’s lives would be saved who could eventually become the drivers and shapers of our economy.
Image credit: Econet Wireless