Despite availability of free routine immunizations in low- and middle‐income countries, many caregivers miss or delay vaccines for their child.
Lack of access to information means a caregiver’s simple, yet crucial queries, such as; the child’s due date, numbers of doses, and more, remain unanswered.
Official helplines where caregivers can reach out for information are limited and require significant human effort. As a result, unresolved queries and concerns cause caregivers to delay or forego life-saving vaccines.
In collaboration with software architects from Interactive Health Solutions (IHS), IRD has developed Bablibot, an innovative AI-based vaccines chatbot.
Unlike conventional chatbots that respond through rule‐based actions, Bablibot leverages Natural Language Processing (NLP), Machine Learning (ML) and human-in-the-loop (HITL) features to respond to caregivers’ immunization-related queries in the local language.
Bablibot can operate as a stand-alone chatbot, and in integration with the government of Sindh’s Zindagi Mehfooz (ZM) Electronic Immunization Registry (EIR). This interoperability provides Bablibot instant access to >4.6 million children enrolled in the EIR, allowing it to send individualized responses. Accessible through Whatsapp as well as simple text messaging, Bablibot makes data connectivity and smartphone ownership optional, and allows users to choose their preferred medium. With instantaneous responses to queries, and accurate information addressing caregivers’ common concerns, Bablibot is poised to improve vaccine uptake.
IRD is leveraging a 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.
Bablibot has responded to queries from over 600 caregivers through 850+ conversations and 1,800+ messages.
The main topics of conversation focus on:
Over 90% of responses to text-based exit surveys indicated user satisfaction. Qualitative analysis showed caregivers appreciate Bablibot’s convenience, reliability, and responsiveness.