Immunization coverage among anganwadi preschool children in Kannur, Kerala, India
Keywords:Anganwadi, Immunization coverage, Preschool children
Background: The Government of India launched the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) in 1978 with the objective of reducing the mortality and morbidity resulting from vaccine-preventable diseases of childhood. The Coverage Evaluation Survey by UNICEF in 2009 reported that the percentage of children fully immunized in India is only 61%. The objective of this study was to assess the immunization coverage among preschool children attending Anganwadi in Kannur district.
Methods: Cross-sectional study done during July 2013- June 2014 among Anganwadi pre-school children. Anganwadi centres were selected using multistage random sampling. The data regarding immunization and socio-demographic factors were collected by interviewing the mothers using a standardized questionnaire. Data was entered in Epi Data version 3.1 and analysis was carried out using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 19 software.
Results: In this study 456 preschool children (3-6 years) were studied. Among the study population, 429 children (94.1%) were fully immunized, 25 (5.5%) were partially immunized and 2 (0.4%) were non-immunized. The major reasons for not taking immunization as stated by the respondents were: religious beliefs, personal engagements at the time of immunization, fear of fever after immunization, and that the child had fever at the proposed date.
Conclusions: The present study shows that regular follow up and motivation through systems like Anganwadi can improve immunization coverage. The study also identified that children taking vaccination from government sector are more likely to complete the schedule.
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