SMS Reminders to Improve the on Time Vaccination Rates Among Children in Pakistan

This study is currently recruiting participants. (see Contacts and Locations)
Verified May 2013 by Aga Khan University
Sponsor:
Collaborator:
World Health Organization
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Dr Abdul Momin Kazi, Aga Khan University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
NCT01859546
First received: May 14, 2013
Last updated: May 20, 2013
Last verified: May 2013
  Purpose

Vaccines are one of the best public health tools available to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) # 4 of decreasing child mortality. A major reason for poor childhood vaccine coverage is the lack of awareness among parents regarding the need for immunization in children, and the importance of completing the entire series of vaccines. This result in significant drop-out between vaccines delivered at birth and later in the infancy period. New innovative methods involving technologies are needed to be employed to increase the vaccine coverage. This study is being conducted in Karachi, Pakistan and main study objective is

• To assess the effectiveness of SMS reminders on cell phones in improving the compliance of subsequent visits for routine immunization for children.


Condition Intervention
Vaccination Failure
Behavioral: Short message service

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Health Services Research
Official Title: Automated SMS Reminders to Parents on Their Cell Phones Can Significantly Improve the on Time Vaccination Rates for Children in Pakistan

Resource links provided by NLM:


Further study details as provided by Aga Khan University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • To assess the effectiveness of SMS reminders on cell phones in improving the compliance of subsequent visits for routine immunization for children in Pakistan [ Time Frame: 10 Months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    We plan to test the effectiveness of reminders to parents/guardians on cell phones through short messaging system (SMS) in improving the on-time routine immunization for children in Pakistan.


Estimated Enrollment: 300
Study Start Date: March 2013
Estimated Study Completion Date: December 2013
Estimated Primary Completion Date: November 2013 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
No Intervention: One time standard verbal counseling
The control group will receive one time standard verbal counseling at the time of initial visit related to EPI vaccination
Experimental: SMS Reminders
Short message service (SMS) - SMS reminders for EPI vaccination at 6, 10 and 14 weeks of life sent in the week that these vaccines are due
Behavioral: Short message service
Short message service reminders on cell phones in improving the compliance of subsequent visits for routine immunization for children
Other Name: Short Message Service

Detailed Description:

Pakistan has the 4th highest burden of child mortality in the world with over 60% of all deaths due to infectious diseases, many of them vaccine-preventable. Vaccines are one of the best public health tools available to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) # 4 of decreasing child mortality. The immunization coverage in Pakistan is still well below the desired level, leading to continued polio transmission, large measles outbreaks and thousands of deaths from vaccine-preventable illnesses. Mobile phone use has seen a tremendous rise in Pakistan in this decade. There are greater than100 million mobile phones subscribers in Pakistan. Short message service (SMS) as a reminder tool can be extremely effective in health care settings at public health scale. Customized SMS messages can be designed as personally tailored messages with text and/or pictures, and used to remind and inquire parents regarding vaccination for their children according to the EPI schedule. A major advantage of SMS as a communication tool is that automated messages can be generated at specific times through computer programming, hence minimizing the need for valuable human resources. Messages are delivered directly with minimal intrusiveness, while maintaining privacy of the household members. Most importantly, the cost of sending automated SMS messages is extremely low, once the original infrastructure is established. We plan to test the effectiveness of reminders to parents/guardians on cell phones through short messaging system (SMS) in improving the on-time routine immunization for children in Pakistan. This study will be conducted in an urban- squatter settlement area, in Karachi where the Aga Khan University's Department of Paediatrics and Child Health is conducting an active demographic surveillance on maternal and child health. Our experimental plan has three components: First, we will conduct baseline survey of parents at our study sites to explore their preferences for text for immunization reminders. Simultaneously, we will develop a computerized application for reminders scheduling. This application will contain the phone number, message information, language preferences and date on which the message will be sent. It will be interfaced with the gateway to send the message. Lastly, we will conduct a randomized controlled trial to determine the effectiveness of automated SMS reminders to parents in improving the on-time vaccination rates in children. If the result shows that the vaccines compliance can be increased through the SMS reminders, this program can be incorporated with the existing systems to collect the cell phone numbers of parents at the time of child's first contact with the health system and sending auto generated reminders for vaccine compliance at national level.

  Eligibility

Ages Eligible for Study:   up to 18 Weeks
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Child should be less than 14 days of age
  • Parent/guardian or at least one person in the household having a valid cell phone connection
  • Parent/guardian provides consent

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Child more than 14 days of age
  • Not a valid cell phone connection in the household
  • Parent/guardian not providing consent
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01859546

Locations
Pakistan
Aga Khan University Recruiting
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan, 74800
Contact: Asghar Ali, MBA,M.Phil    +92 213 486 4385    asghar.ali@aku.edu   
Principal Investigator: Abdul Momin Kazi, MBBS,MPH         
Sponsors and Collaborators
Aga Khan University
World Health Organization
Investigators
Study Director: Ibrahim M Abdel Rahim, MBBS World Health Organization
  More Information

No publications provided

Responsible Party: Dr Abdul Momin Kazi, Senior Instructor, Aga Khan University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01859546     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2013/311074-0, 2013/311074-0
Study First Received: May 14, 2013
Last Updated: May 20, 2013
Health Authority: Pakistan: Research Ethics Committee

Keywords provided by Aga Khan University:
SMS

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on September 18, 2014