Experiences, perceptions and preferences of mothers towards childhood immunization reminder/recall in Ibadan, Nigeria: a cross-sectional study
Introduction: immunization reminder/recall system is proven as one of the effective ways of improving immunization rates. Prior to the development and implementation of an immunization reminder/recall system intervention, we explored the experiences, preferences and perceptions towards childhood immunization reminder/recall among 614 mothers of infants in Ibadan, Nigeria.
Methods: a cross-sectional health facility-based survey utilizing a semi-structured questionnaire was conducted in four Primary Health Care centers. Descriptive statistics were computed using SPSS. Logistic models were used to investigate the relationships with specific outcomes.
Results: only 3.9% had ever heard of immunization reminder/recall and 1.5% had ever received one. However, 97.9% were willing to record their cellphone numbers in the clinics for immunization reminder/recall and 95.1% were willing to receive. Their preferred communication modes were cell phone calls (57.6%) or text messages/SMS (35.6%). Only 2.2% preferred home-visits and 0.4%, e-mails. About 4% were not willing to receive any form of immunization reminder/recall. Mothers with post-secondary education were more likely to prefer SMS than other mothers (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.7-3.3, p<0.0001). Most mothers preferred receiving immunization reminder/recall from immunization providers/health workers and almost all (90.6%) perceived immunization reminder/recall to be government funded.
Conclusion: this study provided critical baseline data for designing a reminder/recall intervention for routine childhood immunization in the study communities. The findings may serve as a guide for public health professionals in designing reminder/recall strategies to improve childhood immunization.