Assessing the Effect of Vaccination on Child Mortality in Rural Southern Ghana

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Research in northern Ghana has shown that vaccination indeed reduces childhood mortality (Nyarko et al., 2001). This dissertation seeks to assess the vaccination status of children aged 12 to 71 months at death and that of children who are alive and the effect of incomplete/partial vaccination on mortality in Dangme West District of Ghana. The data are from the death registration and vaccination status forms. Death registration forms are updated bi-annual and vaccination status are updated yearly for children two(2) years and below at the Dodowa HDSS site. Descriptive statistics was used to study the progress of vaccination status of children born from 2005 to 2009. Bivariate analysis was employed to ascertain difference between vaccination status of children who were dead and that of those who are alive. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was also used to investigate immunisation as a predictor of child mortality after controlling for sex and age of a child and household wealth index. Fully immunised is defined by GSS et al., 2009 as a child who received a BCG, measles and three doses each of DPT and Polio vaccines (excluding polio vaccine given at birth). Partially Immunized is a child who did not receive all the 8 basic vaccines. Included in this analysis were only children whose vaccination cards were seen by the data collectors. The analysis revealed that about half (54.8%) of children aged 12 -71 months who died were fully immunised compared to 67.8% of children aged 12-71 months who were alive. Children who were partially immunised were 1.7 times more likely to die compared to those who were fully immunised (OR=1.73, 95% CI: 1.15, 2.61). The likelihood of partially immunised child dying was 1.1 times, after controlling for child’s gender and age and household wealth index (quintiles) (OR=1.12, 95% CI: 0.71, 1.77). To achieve MDGs goal 4 there is a need for intense public education or house to house education by the policy makers and programme planners on the need for people to complete their vaccination.
A thesis submitted to the Institute of Distance Learning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of Master of Science degree in Industrial Mathematics, May-2012