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Vaccine. 2018 Apr 19;36(17):2321-2325. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2018.03.017. Epub 2018 Mar 23.

Impact of community-delivered SMS alerts on dog-owner participation during a mass rabies vaccination campaign, Haiti 2017.

Author information

1
Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, 100 ORAU Way, Oak Ridge, TN 37830, United States; Poxvirus and Rabies Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30333, United States. Electronic address: muo3@cdc.gov.
2
Poxvirus and Rabies Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30333, United States.
3
Christian Veterinary Mission, 19303 Fremont Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98133, United States.
4
Mission Rabies, 4 Castle Street, Cranborne, Dorset BH21 5PZ, United Kingdom.
5
Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Haiti, Boulevard Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
6
Haiti Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30333, United States.
7
Pan American Health Organization, 525 Twenty-third Street, N.W, Washington, DC 20037, United States.
8
Merck Animal Health, 2 Giralda Farms, Madison, NJ 07940, United States.

Abstract

Haiti has historically vaccinated between 100,000 and 300,000 dogs annually against rabies, however national authorities have not been able to reach and maintain the 70% coverage required to eliminate the canine rabies virus variant. Haiti conducts massive dog vaccination campaigns on an annual basis and utilizes both central point and door-to-door methods. These methods require that dog owners are aware of the dates and locations of the campaign. To improve this awareness among dog owners, 600,000 text messages were sent to phones in two Haitian communes (Gonaives and Saint-Marc) to remind dog owners to attend the campaign. Text messages were delivered on the second day and at the mid-point of the campaign. A post-campaign household survey was conducted to assess dog owner's perception of the text messages and the impact on their participation in the vaccination campaign. Overall, 147 of 160 (91.9%) text-receiving dog owners indicated the text was helpful, and 162 of 187 (86.6%) responding dog owners said they would like to receive text reminders during future rabies vaccination campaigns. In areas hosting one-day central point campaigns, dog owners who received the text were 2.0 (95% CI 1.1, 3.6) times more likely to have participated in the campaign (73.1% attendance among those who received the text vs 36.4% among those who did not). In areas incorporating door-to-door vaccination over multiple days there was no significant difference in participation between dog owners who did and did not receive a text. Text message reminders were well-received and significantly improved campaign attendance, indicating that short message service (SMS) alerts may be a successful strategy in low resource areas with large free roaming dog populations.

KEYWORDS:

Rabies; SMS; Text message; Vaccination campaign; mHealth

PMID:
29580642
PMCID:
PMC6066789
DOI:
10.1016/j.vaccine.2018.03.017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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