Utilization of inactivation polio vaccine among children aged 12 to 23 months in Kalungu district, Uganda
Mirembe, Rachel Faith
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Background: Uganda officially introduced Inactivated polio vaccine in May 2016 as part of the polio eradication and endgame strategy and integrated it into its routine immunization program in addition to the Oral polio vaccine. The current coverage stands at 60% as of July 2017; hence scaling up of IPV administration remains challenged and so is polio eradication. We therefore aimed to determine factors associated with the utilization of inactivated polio vaccine among children in Kalungu district so as to inform the implementation of the vaccine policy. Methods: A community based cross-sectional study was conducted using mixed methods among a total of 406 eligible children aged 12-23 months through multi-stage systematic sampling using a standardized semi-structured questionnaire for quantitative data. Nine key informant interviews were conducted through purposive selection of healthcare givers based on their expertise and Village Health Team members. Modified Poisson regression and thematic content analysis were used to determine factors associated with IPV utilization among caregivers. Results: 71% of children aged 12-23 months had utilized IPV in Kalungu district. Encouragement of caretakers by health workers and VHTs to take children for IPV immunization was independently associated with IPV utilization (Adjusted PR 1.24, 95% CI; 1.22-3.47). Distance to the immunization point and caregiver’s education level were also associated with IPV utilization (Adjusted PR 0.32,95% CI; 0.16-0.62) and (Adjusted PR 1.16,95% CI;1.05-2.22) respectively.Qualitative findings further reported distance to the immunization post and encouragement of caregivers by Health workers and VHTs to take children for IPV was independently associated with IPV utilization among children Conclusion: The current proportion of IPV utilization among children aged 12-23 months is higher than the last reported national coverage (60%); indicating an increasing trend in regard to vaccine adoption in the district. However this is still below the recommended national coverage of 95%. Efforts should be focused on strengthening social mobilization and sensitization of caregivers to children through health workers and VHTs on the benefits of utilizing IPV and all immunization services in general so as to increase awareness. Additionally; immunization outreaches should be strengthened in a bid to facilitate vaccine utilization by bringing services closer to the caregivers.