[Positive impact on the Expanded Program on Immunization when sending call-back SMS through a Computerized Immunization Register, Bobo Dioulasso (Burkina Faso)].

Publication Date: 
Mar 31, 2016

The impact of a Computerized Immunization Register (CIR) on Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), with sending SMS to parents before immunization sessions, has never been studied in sub-Saharan Africa. The objective of this study is to measure EPI quickness and completeness of vaccinations after sending call-back SMS to parents through CIR put in place in a health center. In a health center, chosen at random (Colma 1) in the city of Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, West Africa, mothers, at first EPI session, if they had a mobile phone available at hand or in her surrounding, were randomized for receiving, or not, a call-back SMS before following EPI sessions, after child registration on a Francophone CIR (Siloxane's Intervax ©). Mothers, which were sent SMS and did not correctly followed sessions were asked through mobile phone why their child was late for EPI. 523 newborns were included in the study, with 253 whose parents were sent SMS, and 268 being informed of sessions only by ordinary methods. At second EPI session at 2 months of age, there was a statistical significant increase of coverage for children whose parents received SMS (p<0.001). Quickness to come also to this session was significantly shorter when parents received SMS (p=0.03). At third EPI session at 3 months of age, attendance to EPI for children whose parents were sent SMS was significantly better (p<0.001). Quickness to come to this session was shorter for children with SMS (p=0.02). At fourth EPI session at 4 months of age, attendance for children with SMS was significantly better for children whose parents were sent SMS (p<0.001). Quickness to come to this session was better but not significantly different (p=0.49). Out of 101 children registered as late for EPI sessions in Colma 1 CIR, even with call-back SMS, 19 (19%) parents could not be reached on the telephone. 31/82 (38%) mothers had shifted for EPI to a more proximate vaccination center (Colma 2), and 5 (6%) to private or civil servants clinic. 14/82 (17%) mothers had been travelling far from health center. Ten (12%) admitted neglect of EPI sessions. Two (2%) children had deceased, and one mother did not come back to Colma 1 after her child's AEFI. One child has been dismissed two times of vaccination following recommendation not to open a measles multi-dose vial for a single child, and did not come back. Of 523 children registered in CIR, 77 (14.7%) could not be found in the paper registers of Colma 1. Quickness and completeness for EPI is increased by sending SMS with help of CIR. An official number should be given for each child registered in CIR, consulted by health staff admitting children in urgency, allowing EPI vaccinations completion. With CIR safeguards, CIR should replace paper registers and should be used to send EPI reports by internet at central levels, helping MOH coverage determination and MAPI surveillance. The fall of coverage due to restriction policy not to open a multidose vial for a single child is low. Health staff should institute telephone call-back for badly immunized children registered on CIR and incorporate in it, with SMS call-back, pregnant women, to better complete prenatal sessions and tetanus vaccination.