Vaccination Reminder Band Tipped to Boost Global Child Inoculation Rates
Friday, April 10, 2015
Efforts to increase the number of children who are vaccinated against infectious diseases such as polio and measles have been boosted by the launch of a new ankle band that changes colour to remind parents when their child’s next vaccine shot should be given.
The band, announced by Pakistani researchers last week, is designed to alert parents when each round of vaccine is needed by sending “clear visual markers” over the first four months of a child’s life.
As part of its drive to improve vaccination rates, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has set up a lottery system. Under the system, parents who get their children vaccinated are entered into a draw to win cash prizes, with text messages sent out reminding parents to continue their child’s vaccination schedule.
Vaccinations are used to immunise children against a host of infectious diseases including hepatitis B, diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus. Many parents struggle to complete all three vaccination doses, which are needed to fully immunise children against diseases.
The WHO has said that more efforts are needed to help children complete vaccination regimes, pointing out that: “Despite major efforts to improve immunisation coverage … low uptake and delayed immunisations leave [Pakistani] children vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases.”
Immunisations prevent about 2-3m deaths every year, according to WHO estimates. But about 21.8 million infants worldwide are still missing out on basic vaccines, the organisation has warned.
- Health Care