Friday, April 20, 2018

Digital civil registration is one powerful way of enabling every child to potentially have a unique medical record that follows them through life

  • Hinduatan times 20 Apr 2018
  • Delhi

India can lead the way to deliver health for all 

By Seth Berkley

By using digital identity systems, the lives of thousands of children under the healthcare radar can be changed

The recent revelation that 50 million social media profiles were misused to manipulate voters in the United States means we now have yet another reason to be vigilant about our online identities. However, rather than shunning technology, we need to embrace it. Because digital technology could hold the key to safeguarding the voting rights for millions of the most marginalised people, while improving their health and prospects at the same time. One in four children worldwide are born without their birth being registered. These vulnerable children grow up living under the radar with no access to education, healthcare and, later on in life, the right to vote. Digital identity technologies have the potential to leapfrog the often archaic, paper-based civil registration systems.
Aadhaar is a shining example of how access to government services can be transformed for vulnerable communities. For India this represents an opportunity to lead the way in helping some of the poorest countries in reaching their Sustainable Development Goals, by improving access to immunisation.
Currently around 80% of the world’s poorest children receive all three shots of a diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis-containing vaccine. But we need to find new ways to reach more children with vaccines, such as the pneumococcal conjugate and rotavirus vaccines.
Improving civil registration in poor countries can make this happen. Digital civil registration is one powerful way of enabling every child to potentially have a unique medical record that follows them through life.
In India this transformation is underway. India now has the ambitious goal of increasing from 62% to 90% the number of children completing the full immunisation schedule.
A new smartphone system that is linked to a digital identity system is enabling auxiliary nurse midwives to pull up medical records of patients in the field using biometric data. A similar approach could enable more children to be reached. It is innovations like these that will enable India to succeed.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is meeting leaders in London at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, has set India on a course to become a world leader of solar energy. Now he has the chance to do the same with digital identity technology.
Provided privacy and security remain sacrosanct, the potential to empower hundreds of millions of vulnerable people is simply huge. India has already transformed the global vaccines industry and there’s now every reason to believe India can have as much success exporting its digital identity technology too, and, in doing so, help millions of vulnerable people protect their right to lead healthy lives. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
The views expressed are auther's personal
HT FILE
One in four children worldwide are born without their birth being registered. These vulnerable children grow up living under the radar with no access to education, healthcare and, later on in life, the right to vote. Digital identity technologies have the potential to leapfrog the often archaic, paper-based civil registration systems.
Aadhaar is a shining example of how access to government services can be transformed for vulnerable communities. For India this represents an opportunity to lead the way in helping some of the poorest countries in reaching their Sustainable Development Goals, by improving access to immunisation.
Currently around 80% of the world’s poorest children receive all three shots of a diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis-containing vaccine. But we need to find new ways to reach more children with vaccines, such as the pneumococcal conjugate and rotavirus vaccines.
Improving civil registration in poor countries can make this happen. Digital civil registration is one powerful way of enabling every child to potentially have a unique medical record that follows them through life.
In India this transformation is underway. India now has the ambitious goal of increasing from 62% to 90% the number of children completing the full immunisation schedule.
A new smartphone system that is linked to a digital identity system is enabling auxiliary nurse midwives to pull up medical records of patients in the field using biometric data. A similar approach could enable more children to be reached. It is innovations like these that will enable India to succeed.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is meeting leaders in London at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, has set India on a course to become a world leader of solar energy. Now he has the chance to do the same with digital identity technology.
Provided privacy and security remain sacrosanct, the potential to empower hundreds of millions of vulnerable people is simply huge. India has already transformed the global vaccines industry and there’s now every reason to believe India can have as much success exporting its digital identity technology too, and, in doing so, help millions of vulnerable people protect their right to lead healthy lives. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
The views expressed are personal
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