Project Lead(s): Benson Wamalwa
Unvaccinated children are at increased risk of acquiring and transmitting vaccine-preventable diseases; persistent pockets of non-vaccinated and under-vaccinated populations in Africa’s low-resource settings require a new approach.
Implemented in Kenya, the project team developed and field-tested a ‘Barcoded Child Vaccination Card’.
This tool underpins a novel incentive system of agro-credits for proof of child vaccination, by providing agricultural incentives for women in smallholder villages to vaccinate their children and themselves.
Vaccinated children are given 2-D barcodes (QR codes). Camera mobile phones equipped with a QR code reader are then used by implementation partners (such as community health workers and Agrovets) to track immunization status and ‘agro-credit’ authentication at point-of-immunization, population-based spot-checks/surveys and point-of-sale.
Results showed that this approach of using an incentive system of agro-credits for proof of child vaccination led to improved immunization rates.
Vaccination coverage rose from 15% pre-project to 67.3% at project end; uptake of vaccination services rose from 55% to 95% and measles dropout rates were reduced from 90.6% to 25.1%.
Additionally, the project spun off two social entrepreneurial innovations, ‘Village Grain Bank’ and ‘Vaccine Link’, which offer mothers who show continued compliance on their children’s immunization schedule attractive discounts on farm inputs, cost-shared access to post-harvest storage facilities and services, as well as microcredit for household-level food securing projects throughout the planting season.
The project team has received a follow-on, $250,000 validation grant from the Saving Lives at Birth program to further upgrade the new approach for antenatal care. Plans are underway to roll out a country-wide program using scaling support from others, including GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a Save the Children Healthcare Innovation Award ($192,000) and the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture ($13,000)