Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Knowledge, Attitude and Barriers towards Children Immunization among Women in Selected Rural Primary Health Centres

Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Knowledge, Attitude and Barriers towards Children Immunization among Women in Selected Rural Primary Health Centres

Article excerpt

The prevention of diseases is important in ensuring public health and in reducing maternal and child mortality. It is widely believed among clinicians that the occurrence of disease is prevented than curing them. Immunizations are one of the best means of protection against contagious diseases. Immunization (vaccination) is a way of creating immunity to certain diseases by using small amounts of a killed or weakened microorganism that causes the particular disease. Adegboye, Kotze and Adegboye (2014) reported that under-five mortality in Nigeria is alarmingly high, and many of the diseases that result in mortality are vaccine preventable. According to a report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 1999), immunization is ranked the number one public health achievement in saving lives in the 20th century. Extant literatures (Luman, Barker, Shaw et al, 2005; Niederhauser and Stark, 2005; Stephan, 2007; Molinari, Koasa, Messonnier et al, 2007) suggests that poverty, language usage, education, nativity, race/ethnicity, access to health care, and other factors may contribute to inadequate immunization but as acknowledged by Baker, Dang, Ly, and Diaz (2010), the linkages and relationships among these factors have not been fully explored. However, despite recent success in reducing health inequities in immunization rates in young children (CDC, 2007) among some communities and ethnic groups, immunization rates remain below optimal levels (Smith and Stevenson, 2008 ; Wooten, Luman, Barker, 2007). Among the reasons for slow progress in attaining the goal for reduction in child mortality in Nigeria are the inequitable access to immunization services, deficient vaccine supplies and equipments (Lambo, 2005). Also, individual, community and systemic factors affect the equitable uptake of childhood immunization in Nigeria, as in other countries in sub-Saharan Africa (UNICEF, 2001). Immunization is one of the most cost effective interventions amongst 32 well understood prevention and treatment interventions that target the goals of the child health (WHO, 2008 as cited by Singh and Narasimha, 2013).

Globally, vaccines are among the most effective preventive health measures in reducing child mortality, morbidity, and disability (Omer, Salmon, Orenstein, deHart and Halsey, 2009; Nyarko, Pence and Debpuur, 2001). Vaccine coverage rates in Nigeria according to WHO (2005), have been persistently below 40 percent since 1997. Another report (Hersh, 2005) shows that Nigeria is among the ten countries in the world with vaccine coverage rates below 50 percent, and as reported by Antai (2010), despite the availability of vaccines to tackle childhood mortality, vaccine preventable deaths remain endemic in the sub-Saharan region. Immunization coverage in many parts of Nigeria is far from optimal, and far from equitable (Antai, 2009). As reported by WHO (2003) and WHO/UNICEF (2005), the establishment of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, immunization resulted in about 99 percent reduction in the worldwide incidence of poliomyelitis. By reducing morbidity and mortality, Brenzel, Wolfson, Fox-RushbyJ, Miller and Halsey (2006) posit that immunization will contribute significantly to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal 4, which is to achieve a two-thirds reduction in mortality rates for children under the age of 5 years between 1990 and 2015.

WHO/UNICEF (2013) reported that the number of children under one year of age who did not receive DTP3 vaccine worldwide was 22.6 million in 2012 compared to 22.3 million in 2011. It was further revealed that more than seventy percent of these children live in ten countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Uganda and South Africa. The United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) goals by 2010: (i) Ensure full immunization of children under one year of age at 90% coverage nationally with at least 80% coverage in every district or equivalent administrative unit, (ii) Vitamin A Deficiency Elimination. …

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