Project investigator: Ungke Antonjaya
Project locations: Medan (North Sumatra) and Denpasar (Bali), Indonesia
Date: 2019 – 2021
The first aim of the project was to find out the major factors that lead to some children in Bali and north Sumatra not receiving a complete schedule of routine childhood vaccinations. The second aim was to assess whether an App for use on mobile devices that reminded parents about the vaccination schedule, would help parents to ensure their children completed their vaccinations.
We interviewed 204 parents (the parents of 124 children). We also held focus group discussions with 18 staff in Primary Health Centres at Denpasar (capital of Bali) and Medan (capital of Northern Sumatra Province). We found out that children being ill, and also parents’ fear of vaccine side effects, are two major factors that cause parents to delay vaccinations or not complete the schedule.
Parents expressed interest in using the proposed Mobile App, when available. They thought it would facilitate communication between Primary Health Centre staff and parents, as it would be a quick and easy way of reminding parents about the vaccination schedule. It was also thought to be a good means of providing information about vaccination, for example about side effects.
The project provided insight into vaccination success and challenges in Indonesia. 97-100% of parents agree that vaccination is important for child health but parents’ anxiousness about vaccine side effects was found to be the biggest contribution to their reluctance to bring their child for vaccination. This situation requires multiple approaches to tackle. Vaccination coverage was higher in Denpasar than in Medan. A minority of parents did not have a mobile phone that was App-enabled but expressed interest in using the App if it became available. We understood that the proposed Mobile App would need to be well-designed to meet high expectations of the parent’s needs.
With thanks to our project collaborators: Dr Ayodhia Pitaloka Pasaribu (MD, PhD from Faculty of Medicine Universitas Sumatra Utara, Medan, North Sumatra), and Ni Wayan Widhidewi, MD MBiomed from Faculty of Medicine Universitas Warmadewa, Denpasar, Bali.