How it Works
Health workers visit the homes of pregnant women and record information—including the name and birth date of the child—and send that to a centralized database. The health workers then receives automated text message reminders during their infant’s first year, ensuring that they receive their full coverage of vaccines.
The phone itself has brought big changes. Before it, I had to write data in a book, then go by foot to the woman in the medical clinic and speak to her. Now I have this phone, it’s easy to do.
-- Samu K Toi, Community Health Worker
In 2011, Medic Mobile—in partnership with DMF India, a local NGO that provides healthcare and operates an immunization center—developed a pilot project to use text messages to increase vaccination rates in Kurnool, a community in Andhra Pradesh. This intervention had the potential to send messages directly to new mothers because cellphone penetration in India is high: In 2011, over half of India’s population had a phone, with rapid growth since then. As a result, the vaccination rate rose to 97% for the infants taking part in the trial who were eligible to receive their third dose. The mothers also said that these messages motivated them to take greater personal responsibility for their child’s health beyond immunization—in part because they came from a local, trusted community organization.