1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The immunization of a new born child is a very important way of preventing illness considering the way common diseases that claimed the life of children. According to Oichl and Datrymple (2009) when more than 50% of a community population are immunized against a disease, the possibility of epidemic is removed. Supporting this view, Ogbuibe (2005) pointed out that the entry point to be fill introduction of all elements of primary health care system, immunization against diseases in one of the fairly they elements of the child’s survival and development. The national programme of immunization was for certain target groups of the population mainly children within the large group of 0-2 years and pregnant mothers or women. It is target against the six deadly and childhood diseases. These diseases are tuberculosis, measles, poliomyelitis, tetanus, chicken pox and whooping cough. The high rate of mortality from disease preventable by immunization underscores the need for immunization was the most effective programme to reduce these diseases for which satisfactory immunization procedures have been established.
When a disease is peculiar to certain area, health authorities may recommend immunization of all persons in that area particularly those who are likely to be exposed to it. To buttress this view, Anderson (2000) suggested that mass immunization against typhoid fever is not advocated but if an epidemic occurs in a community, health authorities may implore all susceptible persons to be immunized. The success of any immunization programme depends largely on the target population. It is pertinent to note that mothers are the persons in the issues of the children rearing pattern in our society whereby the mothers rather than fathers are the home keepers and know better about their children’s immunization status. Therefore, all children should be protected. All mothers should understand the importance of immunization to ensure this, Sohem (2005) recommended the vaccination of all new born children should be registered at all health clinics for routine immunization. This entails that they should undergo all stages of immunization.
According to the oxford advanced learners dictionary (2004), immunization is the process of protecting an individual or animal from a disease especially by giving them an injection or a vaccine. Immunization is also defined as a process by which human beings protect themselves from, or against deadly diseases such as poliomyelitis, measles, tuberculosis, diphtheria, whooping cough, vaccination is also another name for immunizing living things against deadly diseases. Immunization is done to make the body resist invasion of pathogenic microbes like bacteria, protozoa and virus. In immunization, a small quantity of a dead parasitic organism is injected into the body of a healthy person (somebody that is free from that parasite organism), the body recognized the antigen as foreign response by realizing specialized protein called antibodies. These antibodies have specific protective properties and the body become immune against the disease that are caused by micro-organisms. Immunization can be active, positive, natural, or acquired.
Immunization is the act of protecting someone against a disease by the intake of inoculation of vaccine or other protective agents which stimulate natural body resistance. It could be active or passive. Immunization is the active which involves administering agents which stimulates the receivers’ own immunological mechanism who responds by producing reactions in his resistance to infect by the organisms from which the antigen was derived or obtained. This takes several weeks to produce effective protection hence, it has a prophylactic value but last forever. On the other hand, immunization is said to be passive by the giving of already made anti-bodies formed by another lost in response to natural injection. This has immediate protective and therapeutic value but last for a short period.
Parent especially the mothers in question do not get their children immunized. The superstition belief or idea that disease are caused by witches and wizards are strongly rooted in their mind, some believes that diseases are caused by evil spirit and the only way out for them to avoid it is by offering sacrifice and some believe that it is the sin that the parents have committed towards the gods that make the child to be like that and there is no solution to the sickness of the child.
Some parent know where and how to obtain it but do not take their children to the clinic for immunization while others that made attempts to take their children to the clinic for immunization may start and will not complete the normal dose they are supposed to give to that child. In a particular health center, i.e. General Health center in Ekiti State, between January 2007 to December 2010, fifty six thousand six hundred and forty two (56,642) children were registered for different types of immunization. Out of these only thirty four thousand six hundred and twenty two (34, 622) children completed their immunization, the remaining twenty two thousand and twenty (22,020) fall to complete their immunization. Some mothers later brought their children to complete their immunization after a long time. When they asked them why they did not bring their children ever since, the most population reason they gave was that, they were not chanced due to their jobs. They devoted much time to their jobs e.g. trading, government workers etc others said they came several times but in most occasions, the nurses asked them to go home that the health of their babies was poor.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The decision to carry out the study was due to the problem associated with immunization of children among the illiterate mothers in Ikere Local Government Area. In the past, many children died before the age of 5 or before the school age due to communicable diseases e.g. tuberculosis, diphtheria, poliomyelitis, whooping cough, measles, tetanus etc. they did not know that these disease could be prevented. These communicable disease were discovered by scientific researcher, clinics are established where the disease can be prevented by treatment. Many people are not still making use of the clinic and health center, perhaps due to ignorance, inability of mothers to get the facilities or non availability of vaccine or lack of understanding.