Assessment of the Implementation of Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) in the Kintampo North Municipality

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This study was done to assess the implementation of the Expanded program on immunization in the Municipality. The study concentrated on all the antigens given to children under the EPI program as well as the tetanus immunization coverage of women with children between the ages of 0-11 months old. The study carried out was a descriptive cross sectional study which made use of 30 clusters. A total of 417 respondents were interviewed. These included 208 mothers with children 12-23 months old and 209 mothers with children 0-11 months old. The objective of the study was to evaluate the expanded program on immunization through; the assessment of caretaker’s knowledge, determination of antigen coverage among children and tetanus immunization coverage among women with children 0 - 11 months. The study also looked at the reasons for non- adherence to immunization. The respondents were selected using the cluster survey method employed by WHO in its cluster surveys. The main findings of the study include: only 26.4% of caretakers knew when the child receives the first immunization, about 91% of caretaker knew the correct immunization schedule, 42.3% could not mention the name of any vaccine preventable disease, 98% of children immunized with BCG had a scar, out of the total immunized with immunization cards, and 7.3% received invalid doses. Also, only 2.9% had five doses of tetanus, mothers with some form of formal education recorded 40.2% of the TT2+ coverage as compared to their uneducated counterparts who recorded 31.1% of the coverage. The major reasons for immunization failure included: 33% did not see the need for tetanus immunization, 43.3% did not also see the need to return for subsequent doses of tetanus. Child immunization failure were also due to caretakers unaware of need for immunization, place of immunization being too far and mother being too busy, as these recorded 26.1%, 13.0% and 13.0% respectively. The study also discovered that 59.4% of mothers interviewed for tetanus toxoid could not trace their immunization records. Based on the findings, of the study, it is recommended that; a data base management should be developed to manage immunization data of clients by determining the validity of immunizations given, tract immunization defaulters, prevent over dosing of clients with antigens and generate reports for immunization activities. It was also recommended that a mobile phone application should also be developed to prompt mothers when their children are due for immunizations.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Computer Studies, College of Science, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Science in Health Informatics,