Project Lead(s): Jasim Uddin
In Bangladesh, immunization coverage among children living in rural, hard-to-reach districts and urban streets remains low (42%–60%), resulting in deaths of children under age five from diseases that could otherwise have been prevented.
The project team developed and tested a mobile phone-based system, ‘mTika’, to significantly improve child immunization coverage in rural and urban districts in Bangladesh.
A quasi-experimental pre-post study was carried out in a rural, hard-to-reach sub-district and one urban zone, aiming to improve coverage among newborn to 11-month-old children.
The intervention involved registration of pregnant mothers, birth notification by mothers, auto-reminders about routine vaccination dates through text messages, auto-reminders for health workers, and monitoring of health workers’ performance by supervisors.
Results showed that the use of a mobile phone-based system, ‘mTika’, led to a significant increase in coverage in children fully immunized (BCG+Penta 3 doses+MR) over a 12-month period in the intervention group and a decline in the comparison group (16.5% versus 14% respectively).
Information on the project has been circulated through a number of seminars, symposia and a journal publication.
The project team has applied for scale-up funding, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, Bangladesh, to roll out the program countrywide.