Immunization service availability and readiness in primary health care in pastoral and semi-pastoral CGPP Ethiopia implementation districts
Background: The availability of immunization services and the readiness of skilled health workers in health institutions to deliver potent vaccines to end users when required to do so are important inputs that contribute to the reduction of child morbidity and mortality from vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs). Objective: Assess immunization service availability and readiness in primary health care units (PHCUs) in pastoral and semi-pastoral regions of CGPP Ethiopia implementation districts.
Methods: A facility-based cross-sectional survey was employed on 14–23 August 2016 in all health centers (HCs) and three randomly selected health posts (HPs) in each HC catchment area in 85 CGPP implementation districts. An observation checklist was filled in by trained data collectors for all study PHCUs.
Results: Immunization service availability and service delivery, based on 19 tracer items, were assessed in 860 PHCUs in both pastoral and semi-pastoral areas. In total, 92% of the PHCUs reported providing an immunization service. However, only 18.1% of the PHCUs were observed and 32.4% reported providing immunization on the day data were collected. Overall, immunization service readiness was 56.6%: 85% of the HCs and 46.6% of the HPs were ready for immunization service over the study period. The proportion of PHCUs found to have functional refrigerators was 65%.
Conclusions and recommendations: Great variability observed in terms of service readiness among HCs and HPs in this study. All PHCUs should be equipped with functional refrigerators that are regularly maintained; all immunization antigens and schedule immunization services should be available at the PHCUs daily to avoid missed opportunities; cold chain managers/immunization service providers should be given supervisory support to ensure that they record refrigerator temperatures.[Ethiop .J. Health Dev. 2019; 33(Special issue):24-30]
Key words: Service availability, Service readiness, Pastoralist and semi-pastoralist, Hard to reach community