India To Use Mothers' Mobile Phones To Track Child Immunizations

“India’s health minister announced Tuesday a new initiative underway to boost the country’s rate of immunizing newborns by collecting mobile phone numbers of all pregnant mothers to monitor their babies’ vaccinations,” the Wall Street Journal’s “India Real Time” blog reports.

Indian Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, speaking at a meeting of the WHO in New Delhi, said the five-year plan will allow central or state governments to track women through their mobile phones “to ensure their babies receive the full repertoire of immunizations,” according to the blog. India “ranks low globally in its rate of vaccinating its population” and “faces a challenge immunizing babies because of its weak, decentralized public health infrastructure and inadequate monitoring, among other problems, experts say,” the blog notes (Anand, 8/4).