Kerala to launch SMS alerts for vaccinations of infants



Thiruvananthapuram: Parents of new born babies in Kerala will soon get SMS reminders on their mobile phones about the details of mandatory vaccinations for the infant.

The system has been developed by Information Kerala Mission (IKM),the e-governance project of the Government of Kerala, as part of the 'Hospital Kiosks'.

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), Information Kerala Mission.

"The SMS facility is an integrated project connected with r Hospital Kiosk programme through which people can register birth and death at the respective hospitals and get the certificates easily," Shaji said.

"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-borns. The SMS facility will help parents to remember the exact date and period of vaccinations and its significance," he said.

The IKM is planning to launch the programme state wide from next month in all hospitals which have the Hospital Kiosks. At present, 365 hospitals--both government and private--across the state have Kiosks, Shaji said.

As Health Department has made the birth registration through health kiosks a mandatory, the date collection will not be a hard task, he said.

"The SMS alert system is a fully computerised facility. Each and every details of vaccination and the numbers of parents will be feeded and updated in the software," he said.

However, the official said the major challenge before the department is the accuracy of the updates.

"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 centres (PHCs) for that. Those regional health centres may not have the facility to ensure whether the parents, who got the SMS alert, have come and take vaccination for his child," Shaji.

If there is no concrete system to register and update the vaccination procedures, the department can not ensure that all new born children in the state have been given vaccination.

However, he said the doctors at primary health centres could give the updates through as emails or SMS to the IKM officials.

PTI