Projects

Immunization Programs

CHALLENGE

One in every 11 child born in Pakistan does not live long enough to celebrate his or her fifth birthday. One third of these child deaths are caused by vaccine preventable diseases.

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CHALLENGE

One in every 11 child born in Pakistan does not live long enough to celebrate his or her fifth birthday. One third of these child deaths are caused by vaccine preventable diseases.

In Pakistan, the immunization coverage problem is complex and multifaceted. Low awareness leads to poor caregiver motivation for immunizations. Lack of accessible facilities makes for long and difficult commutes causing poor repeat vaccinations. Also weak management systems at centers prevent optimal access to services.

INNOVATION

Zindagi Mehfooz - meaning “Safe Life” – is a mHealth application developed by IHS with the underlying aim of providing an integrated platform that delivers smart, scalable and cost effective solutions

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INNOVATION

Zindagi Mehfooz – meaning “Safe Life” – is a mHealth application developed by IHS with the underlying aim of providing an integrated platform that delivers smart, scalable and cost effective solutions to boost immunization coverage in Pakistan.

The program combines the use of a mobile based electronic registry, QR identification codes, SMS reminders and incentivization models for both vaccinators and caregivers.

The mobile-phone based electronic registry records data on vaccines administered to children and maintains an online database for tracking immunization schedules. Unique QR codes are assigned on EPI cards to track vaccination progress per child. EPI cards are linked to lottery prizes to incentivize caregivers to enroll their children in the program and complete the immunization schedule correctly; winners redeem prizes at participating grocery stores for household goods by showing their EPI Card. Each time a lottery prize is won, the health worker who administered the vaccination also receives a payment, which acts as an incentive for health workers to provide efficient vaccination services. To remind caregivers to adhere to follow-up dates and timely completion, three text messages are sent out; the application also allows caregivers to suggest the next vaccination date, and request a change in the date if needed.

IHS with collective effort has delivered a multidimensional, low-cost and low-resource dependent technology that caters to all complexities of the immunization coverage concerns in Pakistan.

 

IMPACT

The Zindagi Mehfooz application is a promising innovation that has expanded immunization scope. The easy-to-use registry system developed by IHS has led to the enrollment of over 37,000 newborns and infants in the program since June 2012. The program hopes to serve as a catalyst for disease prevention and reduction in child mortality rates in Pakistan.

IHS established the program with the support of IRD, which was one of eight groups selected from around the world through the United Nations Secretary General’s Every Woman, Every Child initiative to scale-up mobile health (mHealth) technologies in support of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The grant was funded by the United Nations Foundation and the mHealth Alliance. Technical support was provided through the World Health Organization and partners in Karachi include the Indus Hospital EPI Program.

Enrollment of over 37,000 newborns & infants in the program since June 2012.

The Brand Crew