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Banani, Bangladesh

Uddin M.J.,Center for Equity and Health Systems | Shamsuzzaman M.,Center for Equity and Health Systems | Horng L.,Stanford University | Labrique A.,Johns Hopkins University | And 6 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2016

In Bangladesh, full vaccination rates among children living in rural hard-to-reach areas and urban streets are low. We conducted a quasi-experimental pre-post study of a 12-month mobile phone intervention to improve vaccination among 0-11 months old children in rural hard-to-reach and urban street dweller areas. Software named "mTika" was employed within the existing public health system to electronically register each child's birth and remind mothers about upcoming vaccination dates with text messages. Android smart phones with mTika were provided to all health assistants/vaccinators and supervisors in intervention areas, while mothers used plain cell phones already owned by themselves or their families. Pre and post-intervention vaccination coverage was surveyed in intervention and control areas. Among children over 298 days old, full vaccination coverage actually decreased in control areas - rural baseline 65.9% to endline 55.2% and urban baseline 44.5% to endline 33.9% - while increasing in intervention areas from rural baseline 58.9% to endline 76*8%, difference +18.8% (95% CI 5.7-31.9) and urban baseline 40.7% to endline 57.1%, difference +16.5% (95% CI 3.9-29.0). Difference-in-difference (DID) estimates were +29.5% for rural intervention versus control areas and +27.1% for urban areas for full vaccination in children over 298 days old, and logistic regression adjusting for maternal education, mobile phone ownership, and sex of child showed intervention effect odds ratio (OR) of 3.8 (95% CI 1.5-9.2) in rural areas and 3.0 (95% CI 1.4-6.4) in urban areas. Among all age groups, intervention effects on age-appropriate vaccination coverage were positive: DIDs +13.1-30.5% and ORs 2.5-4.6 (p < 0.001 in all comparisons). Qualitative data showed the intervention was well-accepted. Our study demonstrated that a mobile phone intervention can improve vaccination coverage in rural hard-to-reach and urban street dweller communities in Bangladesh. This small-scale successful demonstration should serve as an example to other low-income countries with high mobile phone usage. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Ginsburg O.M.,University of Toronto | Chowdhury M.,mPower Social Enterprises | Wu W.,University of Toronto | Chowdhury T.I.,mPower Social Enterprises | And 10 more authors.
Oncologist | Year: 2014

Objective. To demonstrate proof of concept for a smart phone-empowered community health worker (CHW) model of care for breast health promotion, clinical breast examination (CBE), and patient navigation in rural Bangladesh. Methods. This study was a randomized controlled trial; July 1 to October 31, 2012, 30 CHWs conducted door-to-door interviews of women aged 25 and older in Khulna Division. Only women who disclosed a breast symptom were offered CBE. Arm A: smart phone with applications to guide interview, report data, show motivational video, and offer appointment for women with an abnormal CBE. Arm B: smart phone/ applications identical to Arm A plus CHW had training in "patient navigation" to address potential barriers to seeking care. Arm C: control arm (no smart phone; same interview recorded on paper). Outcomes are presented as the "adherence" (to advice regarding a clinic appointment) for women with an abnormal CBE. This study was approved by Women's College Hospital Research Ethics Board (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) and district government officials (Khulna, Bangladesh). Funded by Grand Challenges Canada. Results. In 4 months, 22,337 women were interviewed; <1% declined participation, and 556 women had an abnormal CBE. Control group CHWs completed fewer interviews, had inferior data quality, and identified significantly fewer women with abnormal breast exams compared with CHWs in arms A and B. Arm B had the highest adherence. Conclusion. CHWs guided by our smart phone applications were more efficient and effective in breast health promotion compared with the control group. CHW "navigators" were most effective in encouraging women with an abnormal breast examination to adhere to advice regarding clinic attendance. © AlphaMed Press 2014.

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