Building Vaccination Infrastructure on the BabyOnTrack System
Suparna Kalghatgi of Bempu Health Private Limited in India will introduce an online, personalized messaging platform to educate parents and caregivers on immunization and address their concerns to increase vaccine compliance and decrease childhood morbidity in India. Despite the existence of a universal immunization program, there are 7.4 million unvaccinated children in India, and only 65% of infants are fully vaccinated by age one. Limited caregiver knowledge is a key barrier to vaccination: parents must understand why vaccination is important and know the prescribed immunization schedule and where vaccine services are available. They will develop BabyOnTrack - an online support system that runs through WhatsApp, a free online messaging application widely used across India, to provide daily communications including practical infant health education, personalized counseling, and vaccination reminders, to new parents. They will test their approach by running small pilots in private and government hospitals where babies will be enrolled as they are discharged after birth and evaluate its effect on parent engagement and vaccination compliance. The program will also help health centers better manage vaccine supplies to reduce waiting times, which will further improve the vaccination experience for caregivers.