Missed Opportunities of Immunization among Children Aged Less than Five Years Old Attending Primary Health Care Centers in Baghdad
Immunization can be defined as the process of protecting a person
Background: Immunization can be defined as the process of protecting a person from a specific disease; this happens automatically when a person gets an infection and develops his own antibodies.Immunization is the most costâ€“effective way to control vaccine preventable diseases.Vaccines have saved millionsof lives worldwide
Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of missed opportunities for immunization amongchildren aged less than 5 years attending primary health care centers of family medicine in Baghdad city
Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in four primary health care centers of family medicine in Baghdad city, two in Al-Karkh side and two in Al-Rusafa side of Baghdad from the 15th of November 2011 to the 15th of April 2012.The sampling design was a non-probability convenient sample.
Result: A total of 635 children aged less than 5 years of both genders attending the primary health care centers for reasons other than immunization were screened for missed opportunities of immunization. The results of the study sample included (635) childrenof which females comprising 44.1% and males comprising 55.9%. The overall prevalence of missed opportunities was 11% (the prevalence of missed opportunities for females was 12.1% and for males was 10.1%), (the prevalence of missed opportunities in Al-Karkh side of Baghdad was 10.9% and in Al-Rusafa side of Baghdad was 11.1%). The identified reasons for partial immunization frommost to least common reasons were child sickness in 31.42%, mother forgetfulness in 30%, social problems in 12.85%, parental refusal in 11.43%, moving to new place in 4.3%, vaccine un-trust in 4.3%, fear from vaccine side effects in 2.85%, and vaccine unavailability in 2.85%.
Conclusion: Routine assessment of immunization status should be performed for all children visiting health services. Ensuring that all clinics are providing education about the importance of timely childhood immunization and completeness of the entire schedule of vaccination.
Keywords: Immunization, Vaccine, Primary health care, Missed opportunities.Iraqi Medical Journal Vol. 63, No. 1, January 2017; p.52-58.
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