The immunity charm comprises colored beads, with each bead being code for a specific vaccine. On every vaccine, doctors add the corresponding bead to the bracelet, creating a data bank on the child's wrist.
Strong traditional biases and wide spread illiteracy were the main hurdles. The Immunity Charm takes care of both as it is rooted in tradition and requires no reading or writing on the part of the parents. And empowers doctors in Afghanistan with real usable information.
Doctors and Healthcare professionals were given their own Immunity Charm Kits and required just a one hour training program.
With each kit a doctor is equipped to take care of 50 children's Immunization records. The immunity charm comprises colored beads, with each bead being code for a specific vaccine. On every vaccine, doctors add the corresponding bead to the bracelet.
The immunity charm has helped doctors create real enthusiasm in Afghanistan about maintaining immunization history. Seeing the success of the pilot program the Government will now be extending it to other provinces as well.
The Immunity Charm is the immunization history of a child, worn by the child. It creates a direct relationship between infants' doctors and the parents. Borrowing from an Afghan tradition itself, we modified the evil eye charm, commonly found on an infant's wrist, as our medium to spread the message of immunization amongst various Afghan communities. The charm is not merely for the purpose record keeping of vaccines but also reminds parents to follow up on their child's immunization.
The strategy was to incentivize Afghans to maintain data on vaccination. In a society with traditional biases against vaccination, this was no easy task.
The Immunity Charm used another Afghan tradition to tackle traditional biases - an evil eye bracelet that is put on Afghan new borns.
By codifying the beads on the bracelet, doctors have created an incentive for Afghan mothers to maintain immunization history. On every vaccine given, the doctor adds a specific colored bead to the bracelet, building up the immunization history data on the child's wrist. This data can be easily interpreted by other doctors when they see the bracelet.