Chanjo Plus bets on AWS to bolster digital immunisation tracking for 1.5m new-borns

Thursday, March 18th, 2021 10:26 |
Cyrus Mushira, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Chanjo Plus.

Each year, Kenyan healthcare start-up Chanjo Plus aims to reach out to 1.5 million newly-born children who lack access to basic life-saving vaccines. To realise this goal, the start-up company is pinning its hopes on technology after enlisting the services of Amazon Web Services (AWS).

By helping health workers identify children, Chanjo Plus enables children most at risk with access to lifesaving vaccines and helps them adhere to full immunisation schedules, protecting them from vaccine-preventable health burdens.

The start-up company says, children are still dying because of measles, polio, diarrhea, and pneumonia – all diseases that can be prevented with the right treatment or vaccine.

Chanjo Plus believes that getting every child access to vaccines translates into healthy lives for millions of families which, in turn, means a reduction in poverty and greater access to education.

“At Chanjo Plus, we believe that every child has an equal opportunity at life. We provide a platform to track and notify health care workers, caregivers, health volunteers and other governmental, as well as non-governmental organisations,” says Cyrus Mushira, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Chanjo Plus.

“Our sustainable roll-out is driven by healthcare facilities reach as well as infant reach. Our ultimate aim is to reach 1.5 million newborns in Kenya every year and 10 000 clinics,” he adds.

Mushira notes that AWS offers an array of products as well as extensive account managers that were able to guide and advise Chanjo Plus in scaling its offering for maximum impact.

“AWS even helped us with some concepts on data migration that were really amazing. Additionally, speed to deliver services to communities is crucial for our business, and AWS’s cloud-based technologies enables us to quickly set up and spin up services 50% faster.”

To boost its services, Chanjo Plus is using Amazon EC2, Amazon ECR, Amazon RDS, AWS Certificate Manager, Amazon EKS, and Amazon Route 53.

According to Mushira, setting up the AWS services was fast and easy. In fact, Mushira says it was a matter of seconds with the help of reference materials and shared infrastructure.

“Because of AWS’s customer-obsessed ethos, our experience interacting with their service and technical teams was also amazing. The team was helpful in guiding us through the cost implications of each service, which helped us save costs while still achieving our goals.”

He adds that Chanjo Plus just tried out Amazon ECR and Amazon EKS deployments in production for some of the healthcare start-up’s microservices. “Being in the health industry, we are required to ensure stable, consistent and secure products. There are rapid shifts in the usage as different campaigns initiate different intake from customers. So, running fully-fledged services continuously is not cost-effective,” Mushira notes.

“We needed the ability to dynamically allocate and provision resources on the fly and AWS offered us just that. Being able to easily scale in and out as well ensures that services have enough resources to operate and ensure that our costs are also manageable.”

Mushira says it was thanks to AWS that the company could ensure an efficient infrastructure. This went a long way in helping the Chanjo Plus’ development team focus on developing new features and functionality.

“We reduced release cycle time from weeks to a matter of days using automated tools and configuration provided by AWS.”

Mushira adds: “We have the most sophisticated and unique product in Africa, providing digital immunisation tracking and notifications efficiently using state-of-the-art technologies to employ efficient service delivery.

“We have unique features on the platform that have been enabled by the AWS ecosystem. For us, the most important one is the ability to automatically provision resources on-demand and ensure that our services are always responsive,” he concludes.

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