20 April 2022

Six ways UNICEF is innovating to respond to the pandemic and build stronger health systems

COVID-19 wrought havoc globally. Health systems were overwhelmed, with many patients unable to access the life-saving medical care, oxygen therapy and vaccines they needed.    In response, UNICEF worked to rapidly find and roll out innovative solutions – not only to respond to the current crisis, but also to strengthen global health systems for…, 1. Rapidly deployable Health Emergency Facility to respond to future pandemics, Rapidly deployable Health Emergency Facility to respond to future pandemics Speed is critical to help prevent major infectious disease outbreaks from spreading further. UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Médecins Sans Frontières are developing an innovative Health Emergency Facility which can be rapidly deployed to provide screening,…, 2. Accessing real-time data to improve vaccine distribution and monitoring, A child receives the oral polio vaccine in Bomi County, Liberia. A child receives the oral polio vaccine in Bomi County, Liberia. COVID-19 proved the need for quick, efficient vaccine distribution – which was already a challenge for many countries before the pandemic. Vaccine distribution requires careful coordination, which assumes a clear and…, 3. Groundbreaking vaccine technology, without the need for conventional needles and syringes, A young boy in Samoa receives a measles vaccine. A young boy in Samoa receives a measles vaccine. UNICEF is also working with partners and industry to research and prototype a new vaccine delivery technology: Vaccine Microarray Patches (VMAPs) . These band-aid like devices have small micro needles that deliver vaccines via the skin.  While this…, 4. Developing and deploying tools to understand and monitor spread, In Indonesia’s remote East Nusa Tenggara Province, Vero Hegewati Kolin, 51, walks from her home to the local village hall on Solor Island to receive her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. In Indonesia’s remote East Nusa Tenggara Province, Vero Hegewati Kolin, 51, walks from her home to the local village hall on Solor Island to receive her first…, 5. Strengthening global oxygen systems, Six-month-old Nyameba receives life-saving oxygen treatment for pneumonia at a children’s emergency ward in eastern Ghana in October 2021. Six-month-old Nyameba receives life-saving oxygen treatment for pneumonia at a children’s emergency ward in eastern Ghana in October 2021. COVID-19 brought into stark reality the need to strengthen oxygen…, 6. Empowering innovators on-the-ground to contribute to stronger health systems, Brishty, 16, is looking at something on her mobile phone at their home during the COVID-19 situation. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated inequities in access to public health and health care services for children and young people, disproportionately affecting young people’s mental health, wellbeing, and futures. There is an urgent need to…
13 January 2022

Oxygen System Planning Tool

The Oxygen System Planning Tool (OSPT) is an excel-based, customizable tool that can be used to plan oxygen delivery systems from source to patient. This tool can be used to support high-level healthcare budgeting and planning needs related to oxygen, including health and procurement specialists and oxygen technology stakeholders.   The tool uses…, Subscribe for updates and support , UNICEF regularly updates and improves the Oxygen System Planning Tool and also provides technical assistance and training resources. To ensure you receive information on updates, access to current and future training courses and other technical assistance, please subscribe to the OSPT mailing list. We may also contact you to further understand…, Key outcomes, Estimate oxygen demand at health facilities, The OSPT estimates oxygen demand at individual health facilities using data on facility type, number of patients and disease prevalence. The tool can then create health facility archetypes to aggregate oxygen demand for a full geographical area or at various levels of the health system. ​, Generate health facility-level recommendations for appropriate oxygen source options, Based on oxygen demand, the tool will then calculate and recommend the most appropriate, efficient and cost-effective oxygen source solutions for different health facilities. This often involves a combination of cylinders refilled from centralized plants, on-site PSA plants or oxygen concentrators., Automate the calculation of distances between health facilities and oxygen plants, The tool also automatically calculates the distance between known oxygen plants and health facilities to inform when cylinder refilling from a centralized PSA or liquid plant may be the best oxygen source solution., Generate equipment lists, The OSPT provides procurement lists for each health facility, covering oxygen source equipment, consumables, and diagnostic devices. It can also quantify which consumables and equipment will need to be replaced across a specified timeframe, when reordering is needed and the ongoing budget required., Estimate the capital and operating costs, The tool estimates capital and operating costs (e.g. electricity) broken down into categories for each health facility. It can then aggregate costs for different administrative levels or nationally for a given time period. This can help governments, donors or oxygen suppliers understand the full and long-term costs of establishing and operating an…, Aid in planning placement of new PSA oxygen plants, The tool can also support users to plan the optimum placement of new PSA plants, based on oxygen needs and distance to other health facilities that could benefit from cylinder refilling., Testimonials, “We didn’t have the basic devices. When we even diagnosed a person, we couldn’t actually treat the person. We were referring most of our cases. We were supplied with devices like the pulse oximeters, oxygen concentrators. It makes diagnosis and treatment quite easy. [Now] we are confident that we can actually treat them here. We can reduce under-…, Resources and training guides
25 June 2021

Health Emergency Facility

The challenge, In recent years, multiple crises have quickly overwhelmed health care systems, leaving them unable to cope with the sudden surges in patients, let alone provide essential health services. In countries where health systems are already fragile, the rapid escalation of an infectious disease outbreak disproportionately increases the vulnerability of…, The response ​, UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), with support from the  Téchne Network  are developing a family-friendly Health Emergency Facility (HEF) which can be rapidly deployed and equipped in the event of future disease outbreaks. Using guidelines and a digital planning tool, emergency programme staff will be…, Digital decision tool, for inter-agency procurement planning and coordination, including pre-designed layouts and products lists that emergency staff can selected based on the needs for each location. Products icon, Products, equipment and structures, needed for establishing and operating HEFs, including new and innovative products to support the response. family friendly icon, Layouts with guidance, for setting up family-friendly surge facilities that ensure safe case management.   The development of a rapidly deployable HEF began in 2020. In 2022, UNICEF, alongside WHO and Médecins Sans Frontières, integrated the HEF into the Ebola response during Uganda’s worst outbreak in two decades.          "The 2022 Ebola outbreak provided an…, The impact​, With epidemics occurring more often and spreading faster and further than ever, having rapidly deployable health emergency facilities available will help prevent small disease outbreaks from becoming global pandemics, potentially saving millions of lives. This initiative will help prevent existing heath systems from being overwhelmed by the vast…, Resources, Stories and media coverage
03 June 2021

Oxygen Plant-in-a-Box

The challenge, Access to oxygen can be the difference between life and death for patients with severe COVID-19. It is also a critical treatment for children with pneumonia, which remains the leading infectious killer of children under 5 years, claiming over 800,000 lives every year . The COVID-19 pandemic has turned an existing oxygen gap in many low- and middle…, The response ​, UNICEF worked with industry to rapidly develop an innovative emergency solution: the Oxygen Plant-in-a-Box. A fully functional Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA) oxygen plant, the package includes everything needed to produce large volumes of medical grade oxygen, including accessories supplied in the right quantities, installation of equipment, pre-…, 135, cylinders (20-litre bottles) can be filled in a 24-hour period. An icon of an oxygen plant, 720,000, litres of medical oxygen can be provided in a 24-hour period. An icon of a boy and a girl, 100, children with severe pneumonia or 50-60 COVID-19 patients can receive round the clock oxygen treatment at once. , The impact​, UNICEF worked with industry to take the package from idea to reality within just months. Now Oxygen Plant-in-a-Box packages are on their way to support countries as they respond to the ongoing pandemic.  This innovation will help save the lives of thousands of patients. With oxygen a critical treatment for COVID-19, as well as children with…, Resources, Stories and media coverage
15 January 2021

Children’s masks

The challenge, To limit the transmission of the COVID-19 disease, many governments are requiring children over 12 to wear masks in schools. Throughout 2020 more than 50 countries have made mask-wearing upon leaving home compulsory, and the policy landscape shifts depending on the need in a given place. At the same time, there’s a general lack of understanding…, 756,000, 756,000 children’s masks have been bought so far as a result of the UNICEF children’s masks innovation project., 950,000, 950,000 more children’s masks are still required. Where children require masks in order to attend school UNICEF will work with government partners to ensure children can access education, but more funds are needed., The response, UNICEF is taking a three pronged approach to ensure appropriate masks for children are available and accessible to limit the spread of COVID-19.  Publishing  the first guidance on children’s masks  (UNICEF and the World Health Organization, Aug 2020).   Establishing a product innovation project in Cote d’Ivoire to support the local innovation and…, UNICEF’s unique positioning & partnership potential , UNICEF is uniquely positioned to understand children’s needs for mask-wearing due to the role the organization has played in developing the global guidance. In addition, UNICEF’s expansive network of offices that support governments with education programming and supplies for over 50 years is well positioned to offer a fast and effective…, Stories and media coverage
22 April 2020

Effects of Physical Distancing Measures

The COVID-19 pandemic poses an extraordinary challenge to the world, our societies, health care systems, and economies. Currently the virus has been confirmed in more than 200 countries and territories.   In this context, many countries are using physical distancing policies (from school closures to travel restrictions or full lockdowns) as tools…, Magic Box, Through data and data science partnerships with private sector companies and leading research groups,  Magic Box  — UNICEF's big data initiative — is working to provide data, tools and insights that allow timely monitoring of physical distancing, evidence on the suitability and sustainability of mobility reductions for low income settings, and…, Reports, Countries are colored according to the first day of maximum policy stringency. UNICEF Countries are colored according to the first day of maximum policy stringency. 10 Oct 2020 This report investigates how the timing of physical distancing policies introduced by governments to mitigate COVID-19 transmission affects both human mobility (measured…, The MagicBox Science Team, Manuel Garcia-Herranz, Chief Scientist  Dohyung Kim, Principal Researcher and Remote Sensing Lead  Vedran Sekara, Principal Researcher and Machine Learning Lead , Our Collaborators and Partners, Frank Schlosser  Humboldt University Berlin & Robert Koch Institute  Laura Alessandretti  Section for Cognitive Systems, Technical University of Denmark   Sune Lehmann  DTU Compute, Technical University of Denmark   Rachel Oidtman  Perkins Lab, University of Notre Dame  Alex Perkins  Perkins Lab, University of Notre Dame  Kelton Minor  Center…
09 April 2020

U-Report – COVID-19 outbreak response

In February 2020 the U-Report for Humanitarian Action initiative, a joint effort of Office of Innovation , Programme division , Communication for development and Office of Emergency programmes developed a U-Report Information chatbot to support COVID-19 Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE). As of 20 th  June 2020, U-Report’s Covid-19…, Young people and communities can access:  , Safe, speedy and accurate information on the Coronavirus direct to your phone on five messaging channels: SMS, Facebook, Viber, WhatsApp and Telegram. Life-saving information on Corona Virus available in multiple languages, English, Spanish, French, Bahasa, Arabic, Vietnamese, Thai, etc. Translation to new languages can be easily done during…, The COVID-19 Information Chatbot Interface,  Below are screenshots from people using CoronaVirus chatbot. Version 3 of the chatbot has been developed where the content and navigation have been revised based on current UNICEF and WHO guidelines. The new version also makes it easier for country teams to localize the content and introduces misinformation and rumour tracking functionality.…, Try the COVID-19 Information Chatbot yourself using U-Report Global! , Using WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger you can access the current version of the COVID-19 Information Chatbot, WhatsApp: Send “CoronaVirus” to +66 80 024 9442.   Facebook Messenger: Send ‘CoronaVirus’ using Facebook Messenger at  http://m.me/UReportGlobal Viber: Follow ‘U-Report’ Public Account on Viber (Go to Discover), Send the message ‘…