Biometric Fingerprint Identification to Boost Immunization in Developing Countries

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Simprints Technology - child's fingerprint biometrically scanned
Child's fingerprint is biometrically scanned. Photo courtesy of Simprints Technology Ltd.

Scheduled for 2020, the world’s first extensible, biometric fingerprint identification program will provide children from one to five-years-of-age with a digital ID linked to a medical record, greatly expanding essential immunization coverage in developing countries.

Gavi, NEC and Simprint
From left to right: Toby Norman, CEO of Simprints Technology; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Board Chair of Gavi; and Nobuhiro Endo, Chairman of the Board of NEC Corp at the launch in Tokyo, Japan. Photo courtesy of James Fulker/Gavi/2019

20 million children have not received any form of vaccination and are exposed to the world’s deadliest diseases. 

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Board Chair for Gavi (Global Alliance for Vaccinations and Immunizations) states, “We are in the middle of a global identity crisis right now…there are millions of children, mainly in Africa, without any form of official birth registration, let alone a medical record.”

50% of all children under the age of five in sub-Saharan Africa are registered at birth and the remaining 50% have no official identity, making it very difficult to ensure they receive the vaccinations they require – especially at the right time.

This noble, philanthropic endeavour created by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, NEC Corporation and Simprints Technology Ltd., will initiate their new proof of validation technology in Bangladesh and Tanzania in the spring of 2020.

Simprints Technology - child's fingerprint biometrically scanned
Photo courtesy of Simprints Technology Ltd.

First Time Children are Fingerprinted

The fingerprints of babies, toddlers and youngsters are underdeveloped and therefore very difficult to identify, but NEC Corp’s authentication engine has overcome this longstanding dilemma resulting in a certification rating of 99%.

Child's fingerprint is being biometrically scanned
Photo courtesy of Simprints Technology Ltd.

Simprints Technology Ltd., a UK-based non-profit social enterprise that originated at the University of Cambridge, will provide portable biometric scanning technology and storage for all records.

Gavi, established in 2000 and funded by the Gates Foundation, promotes immunization programs to protect and save children’s lives around the world.  Members of Gavi include:  Bill and Melinda Gates, World Health Organization, UNICEF, World Bank, governments, vaccination industries and research institutes.

Gavi Statistics

Immunized over 700 million children in the world’s poorest countries and saved an estimated 10 million lives.

65 million children were immunized in 2017.

Since 2000, coverage has increased by 21% with three doses of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine (DTP3).

Strengthened health systems and immunization services in more than 60 countries.

By preventing illness, death and long-term disability, Gavi-supported vaccines have helped to generate more than $ 150 billion (US) in economic benefits since 2000.

As of early 2019, 15 countries self-financed all their vaccination programs that were initiated with Gavi support.

Universal Health Coverage

person's fingerprint is being biometrically scanned
Fingerprint biometrically scanned. Photo courtesy of Simprints Technology Ltd.

The United Nations has established 17 sustainable development goals in ensuring that all people of all ages in all countries have access to essential healthcare services, medicines and vaccines.

“Partnering with Gavi and NEC, Simprints is thrilled by this opportunity to leverage biometrics to help reach millions of the most vulnerable children worldwide with life-saving vaccinations.  Simprints’ mission is to transform the way the world fights global poverty, building technology to radically increase transparency and effectiveness in global development and ensuring that every vaccine, every dollar, every public good reaches the people who need it the most,” says Toby Norman, Co-founder and CEO of Simprints Technology Ltd.

Resources

Additional Resources

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