Mobile Solutions for Mobile Populations: Closing the Gap
Ernest Darhok of Broadreach in South Africa will use mobile technology to improve access to child immunization services for populations living on the Kenya-Uganda border and help ensure all children are fully vaccinated. Refugee populations living in cross-border settings and migrant communities are particularly difficult to cover because of limited access, poor coordination across borders, and lack of efficient tracking. They have been using a human-centered approach to understand what these populations need to vaccinate their children, and have pilot tested the use of near-field communication cards with an immunization application that holds a child’s vaccination and health data for caregivers, which they can also use to plan more convenient appointments. This card can then be viewed and updated by health workers on both sides of the border using a mobile system. They will extend this pilot study to a wider population in Kenya and Uganda to evaluate the effect on vaccination rates against polio, and apply machine learning methods to better forecast vaccination needs at cross-border facilities to avoid stocks running out. They will obtain user feedback at all stages to help improve their approach.