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Say Hello to Bablibot:

an AI-powered vaccines chatbot that answers caregiver queries regarding childhood immunization 

THE CHALLENGE

Despite availability of free routine immunizations in low- and middle‐income countries, many caregivers miss or delay vaccines for their child. A major reason is unawareness of trivial but crucial knowledge regarding immunization, such as date of next vaccination visit. Official helplines where caregivers can reach out for information are virtually non‐existent and frequently not attended by staff due to competing priorities. As a result, queries and concerns are not addressed, causing caregivers to delay or forego lifesaving vaccines.

OUR APPROACH

In collaboration with software architects from Interactive Health Solutions (IHS), we developed Bablibot, an innovative AI-based vaccines chatbot. Unlike conventional chatbots that respond through rule‐based actions based on keywords, Bablibot leverages Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology to process and generate responses in natural written language. The conversations are validated through human-in-the-loop (HITL) to enhance the AI model. Integration with the Zindagi Mehfooz (ZM) registry provides the added functionality of individualized responses for caregivers enrolled in ZM. Bablibot is accessible through Whatsapp as well as simple text messaging, making data connectivity and smartphone ownership optional, and allowing users to choose their preferred medium. By instantaneously responding to queries with accurate information and addressing common concerns, Bablibot is poised to improve vaccine uptake.

We are leveraging our partnership with the Expanded Program for Immunization (EPI), as well as the interoperability of the bot with ZM, to disseminate information about Bablibot in various areas of Karachi, Sindh.