x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Immunisation alerts to be texted and emailed

Patients on a course of immunisation vaccinations are to be alerted by email and text when their next injection is due.

ABU DHABI // Patients on a course of immunisation vaccinations will be alerted by e-mail and text when their next injection is due.

New mothers will also be reminded when their babies are due to be vaccinated, thanks to a new computer database being set up by the Ministry of Health.

"Vaccinations are very important for the protection of diseases and they can now be controlled," said Ibrahim Alqadi, director of the ministry's preventive medicine department.

"Sometimes mothers don't consider vaccination for their children; they either neglect it, forget about it or refuse it," he said.

The new system will cover the UAE's three vaccination programmes: for children, for at-risk adults and those not vaccinated as children, and for travel vaccinations.

Patients will also be able to go online for information about vaccines, and to find out what level of immunisation they require.

"In the Middle East and North Africa, immunisation is different from in Europe and the United States, for instance," Mr Alqadi said. "People must receive health education on vaccines."

The ministry is beginning work on the new system at a district level and plans to integrate it with the Health Authority - Abu Dhabi, Dubai Health Authority and other emirates by the end of the year.

cmalek@thenational.ae