Assessing the role of communication in childhood vaccination uptake in Kampala, Uganda: case study of Kisenyi Health Center IV
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This was an exploratory study undertaken to document the perspectives of communication about childhood vaccination in Kampala City. The objectives of the study were to identify the vaccination communication interventions; determine the awareness level of caregivers regarding ongoing immunisation communication programs and examine the factors affecting the delivery of vaccination communication interventions. A cross-sectional survey was conducted at Kisenyi HC IV. The study employed a mixed-methods approach involving document analysis, questionnaire, interview and field note-taking. Qualitative and quantitative data were gathered from 160 caregivers and 3 health workers and aggregated to explore vaccination communication interventions at the health centre. Quantitate data were summarized descriptively using SPSS v15 while qualitative data were analysed using a theme-based triangulation approach, with findings cross-checked for validity, reliability and generalizability. The findings revealed that the majority of the caretakers received their information on child vaccination information from their mothers and radio media. The findings also revealed that various factors stipulated in the Social-Ecological Model (SEM) framework (Kumar et al., 2012) and the Health Belief Model (HBM) (Janz & Becker, 1984) influenced vaccination communication interventions. Perceptions, attitudes, inadequate information, knowledge of the consequences of not vaccinating a child, language barrier and health facility dynamics were some of the highlighted factors that affected vaccination communication interventions. In conclusion, a high level of awareness and reachability of vaccination communication interventions among caretakers. However, the study highlights the importance of tacit knowledge as an effective communication approach. Moreover, a small proportion of the population remained unaware of any vaccination communication intervention. Communication outreaches that involve the use of community health workers and local leaders such as local council leadership could help bridge this narrow gap. Also, to scale up immunisation services, communication interventions should address underlying attitudes and perceptions.