Uptake of immunization and associated factors among 0-11 months infants in a rural community of Ekiti State
Background: Immunization is one of the most effective public health interventions, leading to reduced infant and childhood mortality caused by vaccine preventable diseases worldwide. Rates of vaccine preventable diseases have been observed to be decreasing in many parts of the world in the past few decades with many children still remain unvaccinated. Studies have shown that factors that are associated with immunization rates include; low family income, lack of health insurance, low level of parental education, religion, young age of parents, presence of other siblings in the household, lack of source of health care, distance to health facilities, place of delivery etc. The aim of this study is to determine the uptake of immunization and its associated factors among infants of a rural community inEkiti State.
Methods: A systematic random sampling techniques was used to select 360 respondents from the rural Local Government Area whose mothers or caregivers were interviewed and vaccination cards observed to gather information on their immunization status. An interviewer administered semi-structured questionnaire and observational check-list were used to collect needed information. Descriptive analysis of findings was done using SPSS version 16.
Results: Uptake of immunization by 0-11months children is relatively high in rural communities of Ekiti State (88.9%). The immunization card retention rate is also high (90%) and this is very good for authentic data gathering on routine immunization. The high uptake rate was found to be significantly associated with level of education, marital status and occupation. Healthcare workers and radio announcement still remain major sources of information on immunization; therefore attitude of health workers to clients is an important factor for uptake. Unavailability of vaccines, attitude of health workers and having no faith in immunization are important reasons for non-immunization.
Conclusion: Uptake of immunization by children less than one year is relatively high in rural communities of Ekiti State (88.9%). The immunization card retention rate is also high (90%) and this is very good for authentic data gathering on routine immunization. Recommendation: Government to ensure regular, uninterrupted supply of vaccines to all points of vaccination to curb stock out, expand vaccination sites and centres to improve access and provide incentives to mothers/caregivers/families who completed their childhood immunization.
Keywords: Uptake, Immunization, Infants, Rural Community, Ekiti State