Use of Cellular Phone Contacts to Increase Return Rates for Immunization Services in Kenya
In all of the facilities, caregiver phone ownership was above 80%. Caregivers provided reliable contact information and health workers positively perceived phone-based defaulter communications. Competing tasks and concerns about vaccinating sick children and side-effects were the most cited reasons for caregivers defaulting.
It was concluded that use of phone contacts for follow-up is a feasible and cost-effective method for tracking defaulters. This approach should complement traditional home visits, especially for caregivers without phones. Given communication-related reasons for defaulting, it is important that immunization programs scale-up community education activities. But a system for health facilities to share details of defaulting children should be established to reduce "false defaulters."
Research methods and results are presented in the full article available at Pan African Medical Journal
Authors: Evans Mokaya, Isaac Mugoya, Jane Raburu, Lora Shimp