mHealth for Better Routine Immunization Data in Honduras
Vaccinations are a highly cost-effective public health intervention. They prevent over 2.5 million childhood deaths each year. Despite the availability of these life-saving interventions through national routine immunization programs, children in resource-limited settings remain susceptible to preventable infections due to delays in, refusal to accept or lack of access to vaccinations.
National routine immunization programs need strategies to rapidly identify and reach under-immunized or unimmunized children. This includes development of robust data systems that collect and manage vaccination data for surveillance, record-keeping, resource allocation and performance-tracking.
This Bass Connections project builds on a previous team's comparative analysis of routine immunization programs in Ghana and Honduras. In response to findings, the 2017-2018 team will focus on creating an mHealth (mobile health) system for better routine immunization data in Honduras.
The growing pervasiveness of mobile technologies has made it possible to improve the quality and speed of health data collection and use. Such mHealth applications focusing on childhood vaccinations have been implemented in many countries. The previous Bass Connections team's research found high acceptability among partners in Honduras for deploying and using these technologies for data collection and coordinating activities, including tracing and reminding defaulting families about upcoming vaccinations for their children.
The project's objectives are to:
1.Conduct a structured needs assessment to inform an mHealth system for capturing and managing vaccination data in Roatan, Honduras
2.Evaluate technology options that are appropriate for the Honduran context and meet the needs identified in the assessment
3.Develop and implement the mHealth system with help from local partners, Clinica Esperanza and Offices of the Secretariat of Health in Roatan.
Sub-team 1 will focus on mHealth system design and development. Team members will be primarily responsible for designing, developing and deploying the mHealth system.
Sub-team 2 will focus on monitoring and evaluation and will bear primary responsibility for assessing system feasibility for implementation in Honduras, acceptability among end users and effectiveness in capturing routine immunization data.
This team will include six student team members (four undergraduates and two graduate/professional students or residents/postdocs). Team members will be selected based on strong interest in global health, vaccines and/or mobile technologies from a variety of backgrounds such as global health, computer science, engineering, humanities, biostatistics or medicine. Previous research experience in Honduras is a plus. Intermediate to advanced proficiency in Spanish is preferred. Team members interested in being part of sub-team 1 will be required to complete the prerequisites for COMPSCI 408 prior to Fall 2017. Students will be required to enroll in GLHLTH 590S in Spring 2018.
Student team members will receive training in the following areas through didactic and experiential learning opportunities: global health needs assessment, technology evaluation, software programming and implementation; research methods (quantitative and qualitative); childhood vaccination programs and policies, Spanish language skills, and working in a global low-resource setting (Honduras).
Evaluation criteria include attendance at team meetings, participation in teamwork and quality of deliverables.
Independent study credit available for fall and spring semesters; summer funding