Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 23-27

Immunization and socioeconomic status of children 12-59 months attending a specialist hospital, Gusau, Nigeria

1 Department of Paediatrics, Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital, Gusau, Zamfara State, Nigeria
2 Department of Medicine, Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital, Gusau, Zamfara State, Nigeria
3 Department of Paediatrics, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Bilkisu Garba Ilah
Department of Paediatrics, Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital, Gusau, Zamfara State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.157273

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Introduction: Immunization remains an important public health intervention. Morbidity and mortality caused by vaccine-preventable diseases are still high in developing countries. We aimed to assess the immunization coverage among children 12-59 months old attending our pediatric outpatient clinic and determined the impact of socioeconomic status and parental education level on the utilization of immunization services. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study in under-fives attending the pediatric outpatient clinic over a 1-month period. A questionnaire was used to collect information on demography, immunization, parental occupation and level of education, and reasons for not completing immunization. Results: Of the 223 children enrolled, 121 (54.3%) were male and 102 (45.7%) were female. One hundred three (46.2%) were fully immunized, while 120 (53.8%) were not. More males were fully immunized; however, this was not significant (χ2 = 0.606, P = 0.436). The majority (65%) of the patients belonged to the lower socioeconomic class; socioeconomic status was associated with immunization status (χ2 =10.460, P = 0.005). The level of education of both parents was also significantly associated with immunization status [father (χ2 = 14.134, P = 0.000), mother (χ2 = 21.507, P = 0.000)]. The main reasons for not completing immunization were ignorance of when to go back for the next dose, lack of approval by the father, the child being ill, and the mother traveling with the child. Conclusion: A large proportion of children was not fully immunized. Poor educational and socioeconomic statuses of the parents were some of the major reasons identified. Intensive community sensitization and awareness programs should include both religious and traditional leaders so as to reverse this situation.

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