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This article is part of the supplement: The fallacy of coverage: uncovering disparities to improve immunization rates through evidence. The Canadian International Immunization Initiative Phase 2 (CIII2) Operational Research Grants

Open Access Research

Assessment of factors associated with complete immunization coverage in children aged 12-23 months: a cross-sectional study in Nouna district, Burkina Faso

Aboubakary Sanou12*, Seraphin Simboro2, Bocar Kouyaté3, Marylène Dugas4, Janice Graham4 and Gilles Bibeau5

Author Affiliations

1 Université de Montréal, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Québec, Canada

2 Centre de Recherche en Santé de Nouna, Burkina Faso

3 Centre National de Recherche et de Formation sur le Paludisme, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

4 Dalhousie University, Bioethics, Faculty of Medicine, Halifax, Canada

5 Department of Anthropology, Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada

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BMC International Health and Human Rights 2009, 9(Suppl 1):S10  doi:10.1186/1472-698X-9-S1-S10

Published: 14 October 2009

Abstract

Background

The Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) is still in need of improvement. In Burkina Faso in 2003, for example, the Nouna health district had an immunization coverage rate of 31.5%, compared to the national rate of 52%. This study identifies specific factors associated with immunization status in Nouna health district in order to advance improved intervention strategies in this district and in those with similar environmental and social contexts.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was undertaken in 41 rural communities and one semi-urban area (urban in the text). Data on 476 children aged 12 to 23 months were analyzed from a representative sample of 489, drawn from the Nouna Health Research Centre's Demographic Surveillance System (DSS) database. The vaccination history of these children was examined. The relationships between their immunization status and social, economic and various contextual variables associated with their parents and households were assessed using Chi square test, Pearson correlation and logistic regression.

Results

The total immunization coverage was 50.2% (CI, 45.71; 54.69). Parental knowledge of the preventive value of immunization was positively related to complete immunization status (p = 0.03) in rural areas. Children of parents who reported a perception of communication problems surrounding immunization had a lower immunization coverage rate (p < 0.001). No distance related difference exists in terms of complete immunization coverage within villages and between villages outside the site of the health centres. Children of non-educated fathers in rural areas have higher rates of complete immunization coverage than those in the urban area (p = 0.028). Good communication about immunization and the importance of availability of immunization booklets, as well as economic and religious factors appear to positively affect children's immunization status.

Conclusion

Vaccination sites in remote areas are intended to provide a greater opportunity for children to access vaccination services. These efforts, however, are often hampered by the poor economic conditions of households and insufficient communication and knowledge regarding immunization issues. While comprehensive communication may improve understanding about immunization, it is necessary that local interventions also take into account religious specificities and critical economic periods. Particular approaches that take into consideration these distinctions need to be applied in both rural and urban settings.

Abstract in French

See the full article online for a translation of this abstract in French.