When Ehsan Quddusi, an app developer and computer science graduate from South Kashmir’s Pulwama, read health reports on consequences of missing immunization, the appalling numbers instilled restlessness in him. “I wanted to do my part to bring down the appalling numbers,” says Ehsaan.
“The best way I could help,” says Ehsaan, “was to make use of my professional skills”.
He and his two friends joined heads and researched relentlessly to find out the causes, consequences of skipping immunization and they developed an Web App aimed at reducing the mortality rate in children.
The idea came, when recently “polio vaccine death” rumours across Kashmir made parents run from pillar to post for the safety of their children.
The app connects the hospitals with public and allows you anywhere, anytime access to the vaccination history and schedule. All this requires no special technology, no investment, no documentation but just a basic phone.
The carelessness of parents due to busy life affects the immunization schedule of the children, “hence this app.”
“Our aim is to integrate the hospitals and parents “without inconveniencing either”.
“With our app, we aim to let both doctors and parents heave a sigh of relief,” says Ehsaan. The developers have named it: VacApp. The app enables parents’ easy access to their child’s immunization record by downloading the same anytime from VacApp website.
The app will keep the record of vaccination schedule of a child. The hospital will register a child and upload his/her record in his account on the data base at first instance. “The app will then automatically remind the parent of the child through a notification prior to the date of administration of vaccine,” he maintains. “The app follows the schedule as per guidelines of World Health Organisation (WHO) and ministry of health.”
When there is change in vaccination schedule guidelines from WHO, Ehsan says, the schedules will be updated accordingly and notification will be sent to parents for with new vaccine recommendations. If the parent, opts in, the same can be updated against child’s immunization records. “Medical providers can also reach out to patients with recommended vaccines whenever there is an outbreak like Swine Flu / Bird Flu,” he adds.
If a child misses the administration of vaccine on a given day the app will remind the parent through a notification.
“This is an attempt at digitization of the records as well,” says Ehsaan. “During September 2014 floods, most of the manual records of immunization of children were lost, now with this app the record of every child registered will be digitized.”
Moreover, the developers say, the app will generate an immunization card of the child.
As per Central Board of School Education (CBSE) guidelines, a child has to have an immunization card at the time at the time of admission in CBSE recognized schools. The state government in Jammu and Kashmir may follow the same norm soon.
Ehsaan says, “we are in touch with the state government for roping in government run hospitals.”
The app is expected to be very helpful in the times of crises as happened recently when polio rumours hit valley. The health administration can notify the parents about authenticity of the vaccine.