World Immunization Week is an opportunity to highlight the importance of vaccines and how they protect people of all ages against many diseases, giving us the opportunity to pursue a life well-lived.
Run this week from April 24th to 30th, the week gives us an opportunity to reflect on how, for more than two centuries, vaccines have helped keep people healthy—from the very first vaccine developed to protect against smallpox to the newest vaccines used to prevent severe cases of COVID-19.
South Africa’s National Department of Health’s “Contact NDoH” WhatsApp service was launched in partnership with Praekelt.org using our Turn.io platform in March 2020. The service aimed to disseminate accurate and timeous information about the COVID-19 virus via WhatsApp at scale and in multiple languages. Later, the HealthCheck service was added to assess risk, allowing early detection, mapping and efficient management of health cases and resources. Millions of South Africans continue to use the service to perform private and confidential risk assessments via the WhatsApp channel.
With the Contact NDOH chat service already established, it was well positioned for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination initiative in South Africa. Early in 2021, the ability for citizens to register for the COVID-19 vaccination became the latest addition to the service, playing an important part in the country’s vaccination programme.
The Contact NDoH chat service on WhatsApp continues to provide information on the vaccine and enables vaccine registration.
Click here to access the chat service.