Using Birth Registry Data to Increase Timely Vaccination
Fatema Khatun of the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh in Bangladesh will develop a digital intervention to enable sharing of existing digital health data between community health workers and provide them with feedback indicators along with tailored messaging to parents to improve timeliness and coverage of vaccination against tuberculosis in rural Bangladesh. Tuberculosis is the number one cause of death by infectious disease worldwide, and 95% of deaths occur in developing countries. In Bangladesh, the bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine against childhood tuberculosis is usually administered at six weeks of age, despite the fact that vaccination at birth could decrease mortality by three percent – a significant number of cases in this tuberculosis-endemic country. Immediate vaccination is especially important for high risk neonates including low-birth-weight babies and those born to hepatitis B-positive mothers. The digital intervention strategy will be developed to combine the existing electronic health record system with the pregnancy and childbirth registry and to provide digital communication between the community workers providing prenatal and delivery care and those providing BCG vaccination. This will ensure that newborns at increased risk for tuberculosis are prioritized for immediate vaccination. The system will also send direct messages to mothers before and after birth, reminding them of the importance of timely vaccination. Their approach uses existing data in a new way to improve overall vaccination rate and timeliness and decrease infant mortality.