Missed vaccination opportunities at a secondary health facility in Ilorin, Nigeria
Background: Immunization remains a key strategy in the control of childhood diseases, with a child expected to have five visits according to the current National Programme on Immunization. The study aimed to identify missed vaccination visits and the associated factors in children presenting at the general out-patient clinic of a secondary health facility in Ilorin, Nigeria.
Method: Through a descriptive cross-sectional study, the vaccination data of all children seen at the out-patient clinic were critically reviewed over a period of one month. Socio-demographic and immunization details were obtained and reasons for missed vaccination documented. Those that had missed vaccination were commenced on the needed vaccine(s) after counselling of their parent(s), and adequate follow-up was instituted.
Results: Eighty-two (5.1%) children out of 1603 seen had missed at least one vaccine visit. The mean (SD) age of the children was 20.1(14.9) months. The male to female ratio was 1.1:1. Thirty-nine (47.2%) children had missed one visit while 43(52.7%) had missed two or more visits; 16(19.5%) had missed all five visits. Major reasons for missed visits were ill child(26.8%), ignorance about routine vaccine but received vaccine during the National Immunization Days(NID) (19.5%), mother travelled (14.6%), forgot(9.8%), and reaction to previous vaccine(6.1%).
Conclusion: The missed opportunity for immunization is high therefore health care providers should enquire about the vaccination status of children at all contact. There is a need to increase awareness on illnesses that are not contra-indications to vaccination, and routine vaccine status should be checked during NID.
Keywords: Missed, Opportunity, Vaccination, Children, Routine, Immunization