Bacillus Calmette Guerin immunization coverage and the accuracy of the reported immunization data in Wanging’ombe District, Njombe Region, Tanzania
Background: Inaccuracy of the reported administrative immunization data and the corresponding coverage has been a concern for stakeholders and users of immunization data. Apart from coverage estimation, the number of doses administered for Bacillus Calmette Guerin (BCG) vaccine is primarily used as a baseline for computing immunization indicators like dropout rate.
Objectives: To estimate BCG coverage and determine the accuracy of the reported number of doses administered to children less than one year for the calendar year 2018.
Methods: A quantitative descriptive cross- sectional study was conducted at 23 selected health facilities in Wanging’ombe district. Abstraction forms were used to collect data on the number of doses administered to children less than one year, number of reported doses in monthly summary forms and live births for the calendar year 2018. Data was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20 software.
Results: The estimated coverage was 177%. Of the 15 health facilities that were assessed for accuracy, seven had accurate data, five over reported and three under reported.
Conclusion: The overall estimated coverage was unusually high. Though, the reported number of doses administered can be relied for decision making. Establishing and strengthening countrywide Civil Registration and Vital Statistics system (CVRS) may be a sustainable solution to the outstanding challenges in denominators. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) with clear instructions for recording and reporting should be emphasized.
Keywords: BCG, coverage, data quality, immunization, Tanzania