Perception and acceptability of malaria vaccine among maternal and child health clinic attendees at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Nigeria
Background: Ninety percent of the world's malaria cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa. Because of challenges with ongoing malaria control strategies there is need for newer strategies such as malaria vaccine. Nigeria's immunization program has suffered series of setback in recent times due to misperception that marred its acceptability. Malaria vaccine trials have already commenced in some countries. The aim of this study was to assess the perception and acceptability of malaria vaccines among maternal and child health clinic attendees.
Methodology: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study. A semi-structured pre-tested interviewer-administered questionnaire was used for data collection from maternal and child health clinic attendees in Calabar, Nigeria. Respondents were selected using systematic random sampling. Data was collected on socio-demographic characteristics, sources of information regarding malaria vaccine and perception and acceptability of malaria vaccine.
Results: Majority of respondents, 90.5%, were females, 93% were married and 77.5% were educated up to tertiary level. Civil servants constituted 35.1% of respondents. Majority, 157(60%) of respondents had heard about malaria vaccine prior to the study. Eighty –four percent of respondents indicated that they believe malaria vaccine is necessary for malaria control. Fifty- three percent of respondents agreed that they would allow their children to be volunteers for malaria vaccine trial. Eighty- six percent of respondents would recommend that malaria vaccine be made part of the country's National Programme on Immunization.
Conclusion: Majority of respondents had good perception of malaria vaccine. However, there is need for more advocacy and health education so as to debunk all myths and misperceptions.
Keywords: Malaria, Vaccine, Acceptability, Perception, Immunization, Nigeria