Factors associated with immunization of infants in Iganga District
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Immunization describes the process whereby people are protected against illness caused by infection with micro-organisms (formally called pathogens). It is one of the most powerful and cost-effective of all health interventions which prevents debilitating illness and disability, and saves millions of lives every year. Universal immunization of children against eight vaccine-preventable diseases like tuberculosis, diphtheria, whooping cough (pertussis), tetanus, hepatitis B, respiratory diseases caused by Haemophilus influenza, polio, and measles. The study was conducted to assess the factors influencing immunization of infants in Iganga District. The study used secondary data from the infant immunization factor dataset which was obtained from the Makerere University Centre for Health and Population research (MUCHAP) in Iganga district. A sample of 4581 respondents aged 15-54 years was obtained. Data was analyzed using Stata 14.2 (64-bit) into frequency tables using actual tallies and percentages and association between the dependent and independent variables was tested using the Pearson’s Chi-square test. Ethical approval was sought from the Makerere University Centre for Health and Population research before conduction the study. Study results indicate that the biggest proportion of children were female (70.6%), 99.4% and 94.5% of fathers and mothers were living together, 70.1% were in the poor quintile, with 89.9% and 91.4% of fathers and mothers having acquired primary education. Findings from the study revealed that sex of child, father’s religion, mother’s religion, wealth status, father’s education and mother’s education significantly influence immunization of infants with the measure of significance P ≤ 0.05. The government should increase on the average level of immunization awareness and coverage, great sensitization by health professionals through government policies in relation to immunization about its importance should be done so as to change the individual’s perspective of thinking towards health practices. The community leaders should also organize sensitization campaigns and educative workshops through which they communicate to members the merits of immunization towards child health.