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Supporting childhood vaccination in Rajastan through digital necklace

News

Future Health Systems is a research consortium working to improve access, affordability and quality of health services for the poor. We are a partnership of leading research institutes from across the globe working in a variety of contexts: in low-income countries (Bangladesh, Uganda), middle-income countries (China, India) and fragile states (Afghanistan) to build resilient health systems for the future. After a successful first five-year phase from 2006-2011 (see our success stories), we are entering a new six-year phase of research, funded mainly by UK aid.

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Supporting childhood vaccination in Rajastan through digital necklace

Future Health Systems

FHS Young Researcher awardee, Mohammed Shahnawaz (Research Fellow at Indian Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR)), has been using his award to assess whether a “near field communication” chip-based mobile phone application for the remote, real-time monitoring of immunisation progress contributes to immunisation adherence, coverage, and resource conservation in rural Udaipur, Rajastan.

Via a project called Khushi Baby, this new technology comes in the form of a pendant on a necklace, similar to the traditional black thread with amulets worn by children in the area to ward off disease. The pendant contains a chip which stores the vaccine history of each child and can be scanned by health care workers to quickly obtain and update the child’s vaccination records. This data is stored in a cloud and can also be accessed by the Ministry of Health and other health officials.

BBC News has recently written a news story about this innovative project, which hopes to expand their coverage over the next year to up to 4,000 children across 100 villages.