Improving Routine Immunization Timeliness, Completeness and Coverage Using an Automated Tracking, Reminder and Notification System
Olorunsogo Adeoye of the African Field Epidemiology Network in Nigeria will set up an immunization tracking system based on SMS in Nigeria to register children's immunizations, send out reminders of vaccination schedules, and educate families on the importance of routine childhood immunizations. Late or missing vaccinations are a major cause of morbidity and mortality particularly in developing countries. Poor vaccination coverage is due in part to a lack of information given to families on the importance and time-sensitivity of vaccinations and on the recommended schedules. They will develop an SMS-based tracking tool to work with an existing health management system so that health facilities can record each child's data, and SMS reminders can be regularly sent to families and health facilities to inform them when vaccinations are due. Automated voice jingles and messages will also be designed to provide families with useful information. Their system will be tested using 20 health facilities in Sokoto State in Nigeria where 2014-15 records show that none of the children in 40 districts received the complete set of vaccinations.