Immunize India Program.
Immunize india is a SMS based vaccination reminder service program created by Immunize India Charities.
Available nationally, any parent can register their child by sending an SMS with the child's pet name and date of birth to 566778 from their mobile phone. For example: “Immunize Piya 20-08-2013”. The phone will then get free of cost vaccination reminders for 12 years, whenever Piya is due for a shot. Three reminders, two before the due date in that week and one after the due date. It is across all mobiles phones anywhere in India.
This program was conceived and built by group of three persons led by a Professor of Pediatrics fromBangalore, Dr Ranjan Kumar Pejaver, inspired by the predicament of a working housewife distressed by forgetting vaccinating her child. The other two founding members are Mrs Janai Bharat and Mr Gopalakrishna.
IAP-Indian academy of Pediatrics in India ( with more than 20000 pediatricians as members)has endorsed the program and supporting its dissemination in India.
IAP-Immunizeindia is a non-profit, free service, supported by grants and donations from individuals, institutions and corporations.
India has a birth rate of 27 million per year.
Over 1.5 Million children under the age of 5 die every year in India* and another 1 Million or more are disabled for life. Many of these deaths and disabilities are due to diseases which are vaccine preventable.
Just 65% children between 12–23 months of age received all recommended vaccines on time (2013). A 13% dropout from BCG ( given at birth)to Measles vaccine( given at 9 months,)
Delayed vaccination is as dangerous as missed vaccination.
A major cause is that parents often forget to vaccinate the child on time, as most parents in India do not maintain a vaccination calendar for their child in a disciplined manner. Other reasons are-
- parents' misplaced priorities
- low awareness
- busy lifestyles
- social and cultural causes
Vaccination reminder services in several countries have been effective in increasing compliance by 20%. There are over 40 published scientific studies that prove the effectiveness of vaccination reminders.
India has nearly a billion mobile phones which support Text Message Service or SMS (every family has a phone). A well promoted, national, Text Message reminder service is the most cost effective method of reminding parents that a vaccination is due.
Response is amazing……
As of 31st December 2015, there have been nearly 895000 registrations
The notable features are:
-it is free.
-makes use of the mobile revolution in india. India has nearly a billion mobile phone connections.
-it is simple. Easily understandable. Can be scled up in different languages.
Messages do not specify any doctors name or brand of the vaccine.
reminder and verification.
there is provision of opting out….in cases of tragedy etc….
The immunization schedule followed is the official one endorsed by Indian Academy of Pediatrics.
Impact studies have been studied in two studies done in India as well as in Kentucky, USA and found to be excellent.
PAHO- Pan American health organization- a wing of WHO has shown interest in utilizing this program in Latin American countries. Brazil may be the first country.
Immunize India in the beginning of the year was one of the three finalists at the ET Global telecom awards. \On 7th August ,2015 Immunize India won the Ericsson Networked India CNN-IBN awards for best innovation.
Immunize India program can be done in any language in any part of the world which has good mobile phone service and penetrance.
Immunize India as an organization wants to give the benefit of this program to any country that may need it. As a charity orgnization it will design and run the program or train the said country to run it. The program will be given free of charge and the designing it specifically for a country/region/organization will be done on a no-profit as actual costs.
Future plans Increase coverage of the service.
Utilize television and newspaper media, as well as social platforms, for promotion to the fullest extent.
• Allied organizations like obstetrics, midwifery, nursing and other medical associations will be informed and their cooperation sought.
• In a multi-lingual, multi-ethnic country like India, messages need to go out in local languages, too. Software upgrading and improvements can be made to facilitate this.