KEMRI unveils biometric system for vaccinating newborn children.

For the purpose of implementing an online biometric-based immunization management system for newborns in Kenya, the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) has teamed up with Nagasaki University in Japan.

The NEC system, which manages immunization history and scheduling, uses speech recognition for caregivers and fingerprint identification for newborn children.

“This method can lessen the workload placed on caretakers because voice recognition can be done almost instantly. Voice recognition can be implemented in medical facilities with minimal to no changes to current practices “On its website, NEC stated.

“Rather than utilizing traditional fingerprint identification methods to identify newborns, researchers created a new approach for extracting fingerprint pattern information from fingerprint photos and identifying a newborn infant by merging fingerprint pattern data from many fingers.”

It will monitor vaccination histories and schedules, as well as validate the identities of the infants, so encouraging the administration of the necessary immunizations for newborns and children throughout the first 24 months of life.

Through KEMRI, a clinical trial that started in September 2022 at the Kinango Sub-County Hospital in Kwale County is validating this technology.

“We are thrilled that KEMRI is leading this historic study that identifies newborns using a biometric and a vaccination management system that is not only real-time but is also anticipated to support policy and action towards the attainment of better health outcomes and Universal Health Coverage, “Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Acting Director General Prof. Sam Kariuki said.

“I have high hopes that this research will serve as an important contribution to universal health coverage by serving as a manual for precise vaccination management that includes newborn and caregiver identification, “Prof. Miriam Khamadi Were, recipient of the first Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize, added.

More than 300 caregivers and neonates’ data, as well as more than 150 infants’ vaccination records, had been registered as of November 2022.

By the end of 2023, KEMRI wants to have the system implemented all across the nation.

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