Perception and Barriers to Routine Immunisation Uptake: A Qualitative Study in Rural areas of Osun State, Nigeria

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.08.02.Art016

Authors : Elizabeth B. Adedire, Grace Akinkunmi


Background: Immunisation is a proven tool for reducing morbidity and mortality associated with vaccine preventable diseases. Routine Immunisation program in Nigeria has been hampered by certain sociocultural such false beliefs, misconceptions and other health system barriers. This study assessed the perception of mothers about childhood routine immunisation services and explored the factors that could affect routine immunisation uptake by mothers.

Methods: Focus group discussions (FGD) were held among mothers in rural areas of Atakumosa west District, Osun State, Southwestern Nigeria. Key informant interviews (KII) were also conducted among Community leaders and health workers located in these communities. The data collected for the FGD and KII were transcribed verbatim and analysed using detailed content analytic approach.

Results: Majority of the mothers have good awareness of vaccine preventable diseases such as Poliomyelitis, Tuberculosis and measles (75-100%), Misperception of benefits of vaccination such vaccination being a cure for diseases as well as being a prevention for all’ diseases, misconceptions such as malaria resulting from vaccination; cultural and religious taboos as well as health system factors such as negative attitudes of routine immunisation providers, vaccine stock-out and access to health care services, were major factors affecting routine immunisation uptake.

Conclusion: Misconceptions about routine childhood immunisation are still common in most rural communities in Osun State, Nigeria. There is a need to raise awareness of benefits of routine immunisation in the communities, ensuring constant availability of vaccines in health facilities and training and retraining of immunisation staffs on clinical ethics will help to achieve the goal of full Immunisation coverage of 80 percent among children under two years of age.


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