Mobile app gives real time results during polio outbreak

Real time results during polio outbreak

Satish Gupta
UNICEF Myanmar/2019/Maung Maung Lin
13 August 2019

When Myanmar’s first case of vaccine-derived polio was confirmed in Hpa-pun Township of Kayin State on 23 June 2019, an immunization campaign was quickly launched. Within two weeks of the polio virus being identified, vaccine supplies and communication materials were prepared and distributed to 12 selected townships, targeting 300,000 children aged under five years old.

Supplementary immunization activities, implemented by the Ministry of Health and Sports and supported by UNICEF and WHO, were added to the Central Expanded Programme on Immunization.

Rapid Convenience Assessments monitored the vaccination campaign to find missed children. A second round of supplementary immunization activities was completed by 26th July, reaching over 90 per cent of under-five-year-old children in the targeted areas. A mobile application named KoboCollect generates real time results and assists in the monitoring of immunization sessions and house visits. With this new app, field data is instantly received, made available, compiled and viewed at the central level. The daily analysis and progress tracking is done on a simple automatically-generated dashboard, rather than the previous paper-based assessments.

As the monitoring questionnaire includes the village/ward name, the database can show which areas have the highest unvaccinated children and, in this way, the programme can monitor and provide guidance to respective Basic Health staff to re-vaccinate the area etc. 

During the polio outbreak, the KoboCollect application was further improved and data imported to the Power Business Intelligence tool to create a customized dashboard with graphs and maps to support management decisions and ensure timely responses to reach every targeted child. 

The KoBo Toolbox, is an open source suite of tools supporting data collection and analysis in humanitarian emergencies and other challenging environments. Developed by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and funded entirely through grants and donations, the app is freely available, based on commonly used android mobile systems. It is mostly used by people working in humanitarian crises and aid professionals and researchers working in developing countries. No separate server space is needed to host the application. 

The online forms for the KoboCollect app are based on standard WHO tools and session monitoring checklists. This information helps with tracking the location of missed children. 

The mobile forms can be filled in offline. Internet connection is only required to upload the forms.

KoBoCollect Rapid Convenience Assessment can be found at: