Mobile Nudges to Increase Early Vaccination Coverage in Rural Areas - A Pilot Investigation
Günther Fink of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Switzerland will develop a mobile phone-based system to improve the registration of births and the timeliness of childhood vaccinations in Ghana. Particularly in Northern Ghana, many women give birth at home and are less likely to ensure their infants get vaccinated on time, which exposes them to severe infectious diseases such as polio. Even in these low-resource settings, mobile phones are common, and have been successfully used to encourage healthy behavior. They will develop an automated mobile phone system that rewards users when they record a birth or obtain early vaccination, and sends text reminders to encourage mothers to get their infants vaccinated. They will conduct a pilot study with around 300 mothers and community volunteers in Northern Ghana to assess the feasibility and impact of their approach for improving birth tracking and for convincing mothers to get their child vaccinated within their first month of life.