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M-vaccine will enhance the accessibility of mandatory vaccines by tracking the vaccines undertaken and reminding patients when vaccines are due. The system will also help doctors identify vaccines taken in the case that this information is lost by the patients.

Program goals

Children's health has been affected because of missed vaccine doses, a problem that is particularly severe amongst the pastoralists as they are always on the move as they search for water and pastures for their livestock. This program seeks to enhance access to mandatory vaccinations to more than 2,000 children born to pastoral families, thereby reducing the occurrence of preventable diseases such as polio and measles.

Key program components

M-vaccine sends reminder SMS (text) messages to parents when it's time for their children to be vaccinated. The ultimate goal of the system is to replace paper immunization cards, which have been vulnerable to loss, weather and misplacement. The model will help both the parents and doctors track mandatory vaccines for their children in the following ways:

1) replacing paper cards, which are easily lost, with e-vaccination cards, and

2) providing a database (health database) which can be queried through a simple SMS.

The system works in the following way: When a mother gives birth, the birth is registered by a nurse if it happens in a hospital or by a social worker if it happens at home. Upon registration of the birth, an m-vaccine account is created and the mandatory vaccines are scheduled for specific dates. An appropriate language is selected for the parent and the parent is taught how to use the simple m-vaccine system. When a vaccine date approaches, alerts are sent specific intervals (e.g., 3 days, 2 days, 1 day and due day). Once a vaccine is received, the virtual system updates accordingly. If the vaccine is missed, an alert is sent to both the hospital and the mother.

If a mother loses the phone or the vaccination details, all she needs to do is go to or call the hospital and the details are restored. If a mother migrates, she just presents her unique number to the new health provider and the system downloads all of the vaccination details. Thus, paper vaccination records will be largely replaced. The program will partner with local facilities, especially government clinics and traditional birth attendants, to ensure all births are registered and accounts are created for new mothers. M-vaccine is being piloted in the first year, and it is hopped that the system will be scaled up in year two. From here, the system will be fully commercial and be adopted by most health facilities.