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Open Access Research article

Yellow fever vaccination coverage following massive emergency immunization campaigns in rural Uganda, May 2011: a community cluster survey

James Bagonza1*, Elizeus Rutebemberwa1, Malimbo Mugaga2, Nathan Tumuhamye1 and Issa Makumbi2

Author Affiliations

1 School of Public Health, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda

2 Ministry of Health, Kampala, Uganda

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BMC Public Health 2013, 13:202  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-202

Published: 7 March 2013

Abstract

Background

Following an outbreak of yellow fever in northern Uganda in December 2010, Ministry of Health conducted a massive emergency vaccination campaign in January 2011. The reported vaccination coverage in Pader District was 75.9%. Administrative coverage though timely, is affected by incorrect population estimates and over or under reporting of vaccination doses administered. This paper presents the validated yellow fever vaccination coverage following massive emergency immunization campaigns in Pader district.

Methods

A cross sectional cluster survey was carried out in May 2011 among communities in Pader district and 680 respondents were indentified using the modified World Health Organization (WHO) 40 × 17 cluster survey sampling methodology. Respondents were aged nine months and above. Interviewer administered questionnaires were used to collect data on demographic characteristics, vaccination status and reasons for none vaccination. Vaccination status was assessed using self reports and vaccination card evidence. Our main outcomes were measures of yellow fever vaccination coverage in each age-specific stratum, overall, and disaggregated by age and sex, adjusting for the clustered design and the size of the population in each stratum.

Results

Of the 680 survey respondents, 654 (96.1%, 95% CI 94.9 – 97.8) reported being vaccinated during the last campaign but only 353 (51.6%, 95% CI 47.2 – 56.1) had valid yellow fever vaccination cards. Of the 280 children below 5 years, 269 (96.1%, 95% CI 93.7 – 98.7) were vaccinated and nearly all males 299 (96.9%, 95% CI 94.3 – 99.5) were vaccinated. The main reasons for none vaccination were; having travelled out of Pader district during the campaign period (40.0%), lack of transport to immunization posts (28.0%) and, sickness at the time of vaccination (16.0%).

Conclusions

Our results show that actual yellow fever vaccination coverage was high and satisfactory in Pader district since it was above the desired minimum threshold coverage of 80% according to World Health Organization. Massive emergency vaccination done following an outbreak of Yellow fever achieved high population coverage in Pader district. Active surveillance is necessary for early detection of yellow fever cases.

Keywords:
Yellow fever; Vaccination; Cluster survey; Evaluation; Pader