Factors influencing immunization coverage among children under five in the Jirapa District of the Upper West Region Ghana

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June, 2019
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Immunization is one of the most essential public health interventions to reduce child morbidity and mortality in Ghana and the world at large. However, many children still died from causes which could have been prevented through extensive immunization coverage. The main objective of this study was to identify factors influencing immunization coverage among children under-five years of age (0-59 months) in the Jirapa District of the Upper West Region. A total number of 370 mothers of children under-five were chosen for this study and structured questionnaires were administered by visiting the households of under-five nursing mothers. Twenty (20) out of 137 communities were selected by simple random sampling and 5% (was calculated as a ratio based on the 2010 total number of under five children in that community) of mothers of children 0-59 months were chosen as respondents from each of the twenty communities. Descriptive statistics were used to describe demographic characteristics and knowledge level of mothers/caregivers and other independent variables, while the associations between these factors were determined using logistic regression. The study found out that the immunization coverage in the Jirapa District was remarkable high with majority (87.03%) of the children being vaccinated and good client satisfaction. It was also realized that some maternal and community characteristics such as education, occupation and age of the mother contributed significantly to child‟s vaccination status. This study also found strong connection between mothers‟ knowledge in child immunization and their level of education. Mothers who had attained Senior high school (SHS) education and above were almost twice more likely to have good knowledge of vaccination and were also more likely to vaccinate their children up-to-date. This means that support for women education to SHS and above as a long term measure will increase immunization coverage. In the study, it was found out that many mothers had positive attitude towards immunization and positive perception on the attitudes and practices of health workers to immunization activities and those that had positive attitude toward immunization were 3 times more likely to vaccinate their children up-to-date. It is recommended that regular quality refresher training of health workers especially the volunteers to improve their knowledge and practice on immunization services should be organized. Vaccination of child should be made a compulsory requirement during enrollment of children to school.
A thesis submitted to the school of graduate studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Master of Public Health (MPH) in Population and Reproductive Health.
Immunization, children under five, Influencial Factors, Jirapa District, Upper West Region, Ghana