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DAHD and UNDP Sign MOU to Digitize Animal Vaccine Cold Chain Management

This strategic partnership aims to enhance vaccine cold chain management and animal health, leveraging digitalization and global expertise to ensure efficient immunization coverage and safeguarding of livestock populations.

Saurabh Shukla
DAHD and UNDP Sign MOU to Digitize Animal Vaccine Cold Chain Management (Photo Source: @UNDP_India/X)
DAHD and UNDP Sign MOU to Digitize Animal Vaccine Cold Chain Management (Photo Source: @UNDP_India/X)

The Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying (DAHD), under the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, has entered into a strategic partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) India to strengthen digitalization efforts in vaccine cold chain management and enhance animal health practices nationwide.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was formalized at the UNDP Country office in New Delhi, with Alka Upadhyay, Secretary of the Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, and Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Resident Representative in India, signing the agreement. This collaboration aims to address critical challenges in vaccine distribution and animal health management, particularly in a country as vast and populous as India.

In her address, Alka Upadhyay highlighted the significance of robust supply chains and efficient cold chain equipment in boosting immunization coverage, especially considering India's massive human and livestock populations. With 142.86 Crore people, 53.57 Crore farm animals, and 85.18 Crore poultry, ensuring effective delivery of veterinary services becomes important for nutritional security and disease prevention. The move is significant in terms of vaccine storage capacity and to boost animal health India.

The partnership seeks to transform vaccine stock management through digitalization, providing real-time data on vaccine stocks, flows, and storage temperatures. Leveraging advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence, the Animal Vaccine Intelligence Network (AVIN) developed by UNDP will play a essential role in monitoring the vaccine cold chain management process.

Ms. Caitlin Wiesen highlighted the vulnerability of animals and communities to zoonotic diseases and climate change, underscoring the need for a resilient animal vaccine supply chain. Through this collaboration, UNDP aims to fortify India's capacity in managing and delivering vaccines to safeguard both human and animal populations.  The partnership seeks to transform vaccine stock management through digitization, providing real time data on vaccine stocks, flows and storage temperature.

Sarita Chauhan, Joint Secretary (LH) at DAHD, highlighted the importance of real-time monitoring of the vast cold chain infrastructure across India. With the aid of cutting-edge technology and artificial intelligence, the cold chain monitoring system developed by UNDP will facilitate efficient vaccine distribution, ensuring optimal storage conditions and quality.

The partnership also focuses on adopting a One Health approach to strengthen animal health, promoting a digital future through remote temperature monitoring of cold chains. This initiative will enhance immunization coverage by maintaining vaccines within the prescribed temperature range of 2-8 degrees Celsius.

The MoU includes various collaborative efforts, including technical assistance to enhance animal husbandry practices, development of livestock insurance programs, and implementation of effective communication plans. Extension services and skill development initiatives will also be undertaken to empower stakeholders in the animal husbandry sector.

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