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Improving public health via vaccination reminders

Charity Science Health (CSH) is a GiveWell-incubated non-profit deploying SMS interventions to increase childhood vaccination rates.

Despite massive recent improvements in vaccine availability, every year 9 million infants in India do not complete their immunization schedule. To reach vulnerable populations, Charity Science Health uses Telerivet to engage individual parents with scheduled SMS reminder messages. Rigorous evidence – 9 randomized control trials from 7 countries – shows that SMS reminders are among the world's most cost-effective ways to save lives, reducing missed vaccinations by 27% on average.

CSH chose Telerivet to implement their SMS health reminder program after doing an extensive price and feature comparison with other platforms.

CSH imports information about each parent and child into Telerivet, including the child's name and date of birth, the parent's language preference, and where the child can get vaccinated. CSH organizes contacts into groups, then uses Telerivet to schedule a series of messages to each parent a certain number of weeks after their child's date of birth. The scheduled messages include variables referencing contact information, so Telerivet automatically personalizes each message with information like the child's name and where they can get vaccinated. Messages are scheduled in several different languages, according to the parent's language preference.

Telerivet's flexible service plans, and its ability to integrate with a local SMS gateway in India, made it affordable for CSH to start small and scale up over time as they refined their strategies to engage with mothers.

Over the first two years of the program, CSH has reached over 300,000 families, and estimates that an additional 24,000 children have been vaccinated due to this program.

CSH is now planning to scale up its program in partnerships with Indian state governments to reach up to 2.6 million families per year and protect over 200,000 additional children with vaccinations.