FACTORS MILITATING AGAINST IMMUNIZATION OF PRE-PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN IN IREPODUN/IFELODUN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the study

Immunization is the process of administering vaccines to stimulate the body’s immune response against disease that could otherwise impair one’s health or that of entire community. It has been described as the most effective means of disease prevention thereby making cornerstone for public health interventions.

Immunization is responsible for the considerable reduction in the incidence of Vaccine Preventable Disease (VPDs) in the developed world with report of a 99.9% reduction in the incidence of measles.

Immunization against the killer diseases, such as poliomyelitis, Tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, yellow-fever, measles, hepatitis B and cerebrospinal meningitis is proven to be one of the most cost- effective interventions for reducing childhood illness and mortality, yet, National coverage in Nigeria for full immunization is low. Nigeria’s performance on routine immunization has continued to decline. One child in five dies before its fifth birthday. Vaccine preventable disease (VPDs) account for 22% of death, therefore over 200,000 children dies in a year needlessly of VPDs.

In 1979, Nigeria’s Expanded programme on Immunization(EPI) was initiated and placed within the department of public health and communicable Disease control, with the federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) and was launched in 1984 due to poor coverage. In 1996, it became the National Programme on Immunization (NPI) launched by then first lady, Mrs Abacha, following a review of EPI.

Community immunity only applies to disease transmitted from person to person. Tetanus on the other hand is not spread from person, but it’s acquired from the environment. So there can be no community immunity, only the immunized person is protected.

Unvaccinated pre-primary school children are not only at greater risk of catching VPDs but they can affect the community immunity, various studies have looked at the health. Exemptions from immunization consequently are at a greater risk of contracting communicable and other contagious diseases and thus put the rest population at risk by spreading the infection. It has been noted that despite the activities of government and health workers to make public aware of the advantages of immunization, some people are still adamant and still believe that there is no need for their pre-primary school children to be immunized.

Several factors are involved in the transmission of infectious and contagious diseases which are therefore use in the measurement of community immunity against the spread of diseases. All these factors can be used to predict the impact of an immunization programme in a population and set up immunization coverage goals. Thus, community plays an important role in public health.

A wide spread consensus has emerged that many of the current problems have their root in inappropriate and outdated institutional arrangement. Despite the immerse benefit from immunization, VPDs still constituted a significant cause of mobility and mortality in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area of Ekiti state pre-primary school children accounting for infantile mortality.

Traditional belief and taboos relating to assumptions that death of pre-primary children could be due to witch craft. The health of children matter much to parents and the entire society. In the light of the above, thus study therefore investigated the factors militating against immunization of pre-primary school children in Irepodun/ Ifelodun Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Nigeria.

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Updated: 24th June 2017 — 7:28 pm

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