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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Journal of Vaccines & Immunization
Title Suboptimal vaccination rates in rural Ghana despite positive caregiver attitudes towards vaccination
Volume 2
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Page numbers 7-15
URL http://www.nobleresearch.org/Doi/10.14312/2053-1273.2014-2
Background: Vaccines save more than 3 million lives and prevent 750,000 disabilities each year. Optimum immunization coverage will help in the fight against infectious diseases. This study was carried out to characterize current knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding immunizations in a rural Ghanaian community and to help identify reasons for delayed vaccination and suboptimal vaccination rates. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in July 2013 on 156 parents and caregivers of children aged between 1 month and 5 years old. Structured questionnaires were administered to elicit responses on knowledge, attitudes, and practices towards childhood immunization. Results: Almost all study participants knew about vaccination (98.7%). However, unsolicited awareness of the benefits of vaccination was poor, and there existed knowledge gaps about vaccine preventable diseases. Nonetheless, most study participants (94.8%) acknowledged every child’s right to vaccination. The most prominent factors that influence the decision to participate in vaccination include recommendation by a local nurse (13.2%) or other health worker (10.4%), or a supportive spouse (11.8%). Adherence to vaccination schedules were generally low, but parents with a primary educational level were approximately 6 times more likely to adhere to vaccination schedules for the routine expanded programme on immunization vaccines than were parents with a secondary level of education. Conclusion: There was an almost universal awareness of vaccination among study participants. But poor knowledge of the benefits of vaccination and of vaccine preventable diseases ought to be addressed through education in order to promote improved and timely vaccination coverage.

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