Thursday, March 27, 2014

Free SMS based Vaccination Reminder Service for Indian children

The world's largest vaccination reminder service

IAP-Immunizeindia is the world's largest vaccination reminder service, and is available free of cost to parents anywhere in India. It is a national non-profit initiative, promoted by Indian Academy of Pediatrics.
IAP-Immunizeindia aims to prevent half a million child deaths and disabilities by 2018.
IAP-Immunizeindia is supported by Vodafone, which is the national telecom sponsor, and IAP-Immunizeindia's national press campaign, promotional posters in hospitals and clinics, promotional pamphlets are funded by an education grant from a leading global corporation.
How to register for the service

Parents opt-in to the service by sending a text message by SMS to the national shortcode 566778 from any mobile phone in India, in the following format*** :

Immunize < Space>   
Example : Immunize Rekha 04-11-2013

The phone will immediately receive a confirmation message.
Text message reminders** will  be sent to the phone for 12 years, following the IAPCOI prescribed immunization schedule.  
3 reminders are sent, at 2 day intervals, for each vaccination that is due. An example of a reminder is - "Rekha is due for a vaccination this week, please do not forget to visit your doctor"**
Reason for the service

Over 2 Million children under the age of 5 die every year in India* and another 1 Million or more are disabled for life. 

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
            - forgetfulness
            - 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 700 million mobile phones which support Text Message Service or SMS (every family has a phone). A well promoted, national, Text Message reminder service will be the the most cost effective method of  reminding parents that a vaccination is due. 
Contact - For clarifications and support please send an email to 
*     Source- Global Immunization Vision and Strategy (GIVS). 2006-2015, World Health Organization
**    Reminders do not advertise, recommend or promote any vaccine brands or products.
***   Service not available for phones outside India

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