A mass campaign too often? results of a vaccination coverage survey in the dikgale-soekmekaar district

  • Carla Van Turennout
  • Joris Vandelanotte
  • Marjan van den Akker
  • Anne Marie Depoorter


Objectives. To determine the routine and mass immunisation coverage in children aged between 12 and 23 months in the Dikgale-Soekmekaar district, Northern Province, South Africa. Design. Cross-sectional community-based vaccination prevalence survey using a two-stage cluster sampling technique. Methods. Data on the vaccination status of the children were obtained from the vaccination document of each child or by means of a vaccination history if the vaccination document was not available. A structured interview based on a field-tested questionnaire was conducted with one caretaker of each child. Results. Each of the routine programme vaccines reached a coverage level of more than 90%, except for measles (85%) and Haemophilus influenzae (Hib) 1, 2, 3 (8%, 5% and 2% respectively). Seventy-nine per cent of all children were fully immunised through the routine services. The two polio mass campaign rounds reached coverage levels of 80% and 57% respectively. The measles campaign reached 75% of the study population. The overall measles coverage rate (routine and mass campaign) was 96%. Conclusions. The routine immunisation service in the district functions very well. The polio mass campaign in the district was redundant. However, the measles campaign increased the coverage rate in the population to 96%, which exceeds the theoretical herd immunity level of 92 - 95%. This may have averted a measles outbreak in the district.

(South African Medical Journal: 2003 93(1): 65-68)

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eISSN: 0256-95749
print ISSN: 2078-5135