Infant immunization coverage in difficult-to-reach area of Lagos metropolis

A Adeiga, SA Omilabu, RA Audu, FA Sanni, GF Lakehinde, O Balogun, O Olagbaju



A retrospective survey of infant immunization coverage was conducted among 210 children aged 12 to 23 months in difficult-to-reach coastal suburb of Lagos, Nigeria. This was to assess immunization coverage for BCG, DPT, OPV and measles vaccination and to investigate reasons for failure to be immunized and evaluate the drop out rate as well as missed opportunities. An EPI cluster method was used. Questionnaires were administered with WHO cluster form for infant immunization. Recall history and card records of immunization were the tools used. The result showed that 82 (39%) of the 210 children assessed were not immunized, 84 (40%) were partially immunized and only 44 (21%) were fully immunized. At one year of age, only 21 (10%) of the children completed their immunization. Observation of the follow up of vaccination showed that 65.5% of 127 children who started BCG vaccination dropped out as at the time of receiving measles vaccination. Reasons advanced for failure to immunize or complete immunization of the children included obstacles in 47.7%, lack of information 40.7% and lack of motivation in 11.6%. These factors contributed to missed opportunities. Only 9 (11%) of 82 children not vaccinated against measles attributed non vaccination to illnesses. Lack of health facilities and the terrain that is difficult to reach contributed to low coverage. Also, low literacy level, poor maternal health education, poor socioeconomic status and poor advocacy to community leaders and lack of commitment of health workers contributed to low coverage. For immunization coverage to improve in this area, these factors must be addressed.

Keywords: infant, immunization, coverage, antigens, advocacy

African Journal of Clinical and Experimental Microbiology Vol. 6 (3) 2005: 227-231