The role of mobile phone-based interventions to improve routine childhood immunisation coverage

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2017

Routine childhood immunisation is one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions that have considerably reduced global child morbidity and mortality.1 However, annually, an estimated 18·7 million children under 1 year of age do not receive basic vaccination as part of an expanded programme of immunisation (EPI) worldwide, and millions of children die from vaccine-preventable diseases.2 Because of social issues and insufficient appreciation for immunisation, parents and caregivers forget or ignore the importance of immunisation or completing the entire series of vaccines. As a consequence, there is a continuation of the polio epidemic, large measles outbreaks, and high disease burden of vaccine-preventable diseases in children.3 In The Lancet Global Health, Dustin Gibson and colleagues study4 showed the effectiveness of SMS reminders coupled with incentives in improving immunisation uptake and timelines in Kenya.4