Charity Science Health (CSH) is an evidence-based GiveWell-incubated non-profit organization focused on improving and saving the most lives per dollar spent. We send SMS reminders to mothers in India when their children are due for vaccinations, to increase the number of children protected from deadly infectious diseases.
There is strong evidence that this is one of the most cost-effective programs in the world to save and improve lives, it is easy to scale into existing health systems, and no other reminder program is reaching the least fortunate populations who need it the most in India. The vaccination gap in India is still incredibly large, with close to ten million children not fully vaccinated every year. However, high mobile phone penetration in the country along with the government’s commitment to build a systematic database of pregnant women and newborn children, present an opportunity for CSH to run an effective and highly scalable vaccine reminder program.
CSH has reached 256,000 families with reminders, enrolling them through door-to-door visits, clinic partnerships, and now, collaborations with Maharashtra and Bihar to automatically enroll new mothers.
Is to expand immunization coverage across India through an effective and evidence-based intervention.
Is a world where no life is ever lost because of a missed appointment
In Maharashtra, an electronic database of maternal and child health services has near universal coverage of pregnant women throughout the state. Under an MOU with the state health department, CSH plans to use that database to reach pregnant women and new mothers with SMS reminders in all 36 districts.
In Bihar, the state government’s management of tracking data on mothers and infants suffers major limitations, covering only 1.6% of Bihari infants. Our recent agreement with the health department of Bihar allows us to enroll pregnant women and new mothers by digitizing health facilities’ hardcopy records ourselves.
Our door-to-door campaigns consists of sending vaccination promoters to conduct face-to-face surveys to enroll new mothers. This allows us to cover hard-to-reach, more marginalized populations who are less likely to be part of the government data systems and likely to miss vaccination appointments. It also allows us to have a personal conversation with the participants about the importance of vaccinations and check their vaccination status in person.