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Our work

Vaccines prevent disease, save lives and produce social and economic benefits.

Vaccinations are one of our greatest public health successes to date, averting 2-3 million child deaths every year as one of the most cost-effective and evidence-based medical interventions humanity has developed.


Vaccines also bring social and economic benefits for individuals and society, such as avoiding the distress of illness, saving medical treatment costs and protecting a child's future potential (including educational outcomes and productivity).

Yet routine vaccines still do not reach everyone.

Globally, one child dies every minute from a vaccine-preventable disease. This is because 19 million children fail to receive their basic vaccinations before their first birthday each year. At Suvita, we work to change this.

Vaccination coverage varies widely between and within countries, so certain regions bear a much greater load than others when it comes to vaccine-preventable diseases. Half of the world’s undervaccinated children are in India. The country suffers the death of one child every four minutes as a result. This is despite India’s early contributions to vaccine research and development, its current position as a leading global producer of vaccines, and significant progress in strengthening vaccine supply over recent years due to government investment.

Our approach

Suvita implements two rigorously tested solutions which have been found to increase uptake of vaccinations in India:

1) Building a network of carefully selected volunteer immunisation ambassadors, who share information with new parents in their community about local vaccine clinics

2) Sending personalised SMS reminders to caregivers informing them when their child is due for a vaccination

Emerging evidence suggests that a combination of both these methods is more effective and more cost-effective than either in isolation.

Why this approach?




Our programmes are supported by high-quality, recent, local evidence from Haryana, India.

A large-scale randomised controlled trial, conducted by a team from MIT's Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) including two recent Nobel laureates - Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee - found that a combination of immunisation ambassadors and SMS reminders significantly increased the number of children attending government-run immunisation camps by 25%.

You can find out more by following the links below:

  • Summary of the full randomised controlled trial (J-PAL)

  • Media article highlighting the study's key findings (The Tribune, 2019)

  • Summary of the immunisation ambassador component of the study (J-PAL)

  • Publication of the findings of the immunisation ambassador component (Banerjee et al., 2019)

  • Our literature review of 9 randomised controlled trials of SMS reminders (Suvita)

  • Evaluation of the impact of interventions to improve full immunisation rates in Haryana, India (3ie)

How it works: immunisation ambassadors


Randomly selected members of a community are surveyed to identify opinion leaders


Ambassadors share this information with relevant members of their communities


Opinion leaders are invited to volunteer as immunisation ambassadors


Caregivers are reminded to bring infants to free, government-provided vaccination clinics


Ambassadors are kept regularly updated with details of local monthly immunisation clinics by SMS and phone calls


Babies are protected from deadly diseases and others are also protected via herd immunity

How it works: SMS reminders


Caregivers sign up for reminders through either:

  • their mobile phone

  • a local NGO

  • the health centre where the baby was born

  • the state government



Our automated system sends an SMS reminder 1 day and 7 days before the child is due for a vaccine

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Caregivers are reminded to bring infants to free, government-provided vaccination clinics


Babies are protected from deadly diseases and others are also protected via herd immunity

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Impact so far

SMS reminders to



Working with families in





pilot of immunisation ambassadors

Caregivers have enrolled for our SMS reminders in Uttar Pradesh, New Delhi, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and West Bengal. We have ongoing enrollment through hospital partners in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, and are in discussions with the Maharashtra state government about partnering to build towards state-wide enrollment through the government birth register. We have launched a phone-based pilot of the immunisation ambassadors programme in Bihar.

Want to support our work?

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