Utilization of immunization services among children aged under five in Kirinyaga County, Kenya
Keywords:Utilization, Immunization, Under-fives
Background: Immunization is the key strategy to curb communicable diseases which are the number one killer of children under five years of age. Immunization prevents mortalities of approximating three million children under five years annually. This study aimed to assess utilization of immunization services among children aged under five in Kirinyaga County, Kenya.
Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted among 388 participants in the five sub-counties of Kirinyaga County through systematic random sampling. Data was collected using a structured interview and review of recorded data from the Children immunization record card. Data was analyzed using SPSS and chi-square tests used to measure the association between independent and dependent variables. Statistical significance was set at p≤0.05.
Results: Immunization at birth and at 6 weeks was highly utilized at 91%. However, there was a decline during the subsequent visits. Age, gender, profession and level of income were significant factors that affected timely immunization. Health service barriers to utilization included long ques and waiting time, stock out of vaccine and rescheduling of vaccination and clinic return dates. Other identified factors were myths and misconception, side effects, parity and lack of information.
Conclusions: The results showed that utilization of immunization services was not in compliance with the expanded programme on immunization schedule. There is therefore need for health education programs to be carried out to improve utilization of immunization services and a door to door campaign to trace and immunize defaulters.
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