GSK Takes Children's Vaccine Fight Mobile in Africa

Source: WRAL Tech Wire


GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Vodafone, a wireless service provider, have joined forces with the Save the Children Foundation on a pilot program in Mozambique to determine whether text messages to parents could increase vaccination rates among children. “Organizations such as UNICEF and GAVI have played a key role in making vaccines much more accessible in Africa but barriers still exist which stop children from benefiting from basic immunization,” says GSK CEO Andrew Witty. “Our hope is that together we will create a sustainable and scalable model which could ultimately be replicated to help more children live healthy lives across developing countries.” The program involves registering parents and caregivers on a Mozambique Ministry of Health database to receive mobile alerts and schedule vaccination appointments via short message service (SMS); equipping health workers with smartphones to contact parents, access vaccination histories, schedule vaccinations, and report on follow-up visits; and enabling healthcare facilities to use SMS to report shortages in vaccine stock.

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