Kerala to send SMS alerts for vaccination of babies
Information Kerala Mission (IKM), the flagship e-governance project of the Kerala government, has developed the system as a part of the ‘Hospital Kiosks.’
Janasevanakendram Hospital Kiosk
The first hospital kiosk was launched in 2005 by IKM, under Local Self Government (LSG) Department. The kiosk facilitates online registration of births and deaths directly from hospitals in Kerala. They are installed in both public and private (350-odd) hospitals.
The stats show that about 60 percent of births in the state are being registered online. The IKM’s strategy is to collect data from where it originates, so that civil and community databases will be transparent and the government can target the beneficiaries of any welfare measures efficiently.
By combining JanasevanaKendrams with hospitals online, IKM makes birth and death certificates available to informants within 24 hours of registration. And, of course, marriage certificates also get done the same way.
Pings for vaccination
“The messages will be sent to the parents who register online the birth of their child through the Hospital Kiosks, the facility arranged at the hospitals for birth and death registrations,” said A Shaji, Director (Implementation), IKM.
"The mobile numbers mentioned in the birth registration forms will be collected and details of vaccination will be sent as SMS to the number.
"There are several vaccinations and injections to be administered to the new-born babies. The SMS facility will help parents to remember the exact date and period of vaccinations and its significance," he said.
The IKM kicks off the program statewide from next month in all hospitals which have these hospital kiosks. There are 365 hospitals, both private and public, across the state.
As the Health department has already made the registration of births through kiosks mandatory, it is easy to collect data.
The SMS alert system being fully computerized, “each and every detail of vaccination and the numbers of parents will be fed and updated in the software," he said.
Mr.Shaji feels the accuracy of updates in rural areas is going to be challenge.
"People, especially those from remote areas will not come to city hospitals for vaccination or related activities. They will surely go to their nearer primary health centers (PHCs) for that. Those regional health centers may not have the facility to ensure whether the parents, who got the SMS alert, have come and take vaccination for his child," he said.
The problem is if there is no full proof system to register, monitor, and update the vaccination procedures, the department can not ensure if all the new born babies have been vaccinated.
He said the problem can be solved by doctors at primary health centers giving updates though emails and SMSes.