Vaccination coverage and timeliness in three South African areas: a prospective study.
ABSTRACT: Timely vaccination is important to induce adequate protective immunity. We measured vaccination timeliness and vaccination coverage in three geographical areas in South Africa.This study used vaccination information from a community-based cluster-randomized trial promoting exclusive breastfeeding in three South African sites (Paarl in the Western Cape Province, and Umlazi and Rietvlei in KwaZulu-Natal) between 2006 and 2008. Five interview visits were carried out between birth and up to 2 years of age (median follow-up time 18 months), and 1137 children were included in the analysis. We used Kaplan-Meier time-to-event analysis to describe vaccination coverage and timeliness in line with the Expanded Program on Immunization for the first eight vaccines. This included Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), four oral polio vaccines and 3 doses of the pentavalent vaccine which protects against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type B.The proportion receiving all these eight recommended vaccines were 94% in Paarl (95% confidence interval [CI] 91-96), 62% in Rietvlei (95%CI 54-68) and 88% in Umlazi (95%CI 84-91). Slightly fewer children received all vaccines within the recommended time periods. The situation was worst for the last pentavalent- and oral polio vaccines. The hazard ratio for incomplete vaccination was 7.2 (95%CI 4.7-11) for Rietvlei compared to Paarl.There were large differences between the different South African sites in terms of vaccination coverage and timeliness, with the poorer areas of Rietvlei performing worse than the better-off areas in Paarl. The vaccination coverage was lower for the vaccines given at an older age. There is a need for continued efforts to improve vaccination coverage and timeliness, in particular in rural areas.ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00397150.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Cash transfer programmes targeting children are considered an effective strategy for addressing child poverty and for improving child health outcomes in developing countries. In South Africa, the Child Support Grant (CSG) is the largest cash transfer programme targeting children from poor households. The present paper investigates the association of the duration of CSG receipt with child growth at 2 years in three diverse areas of South Africa. DESIGN:The study analysed data on CSG receipt and anthropometric measurements from children. Predictors of stunting were assessed using a backward regression model. SETTING:Paarl (peri-urban), Rietvlei (rural) and Umlazi (urban township), South Africa, 2008. SUBJECTS:Children (n 746), median age 22 months. RESULTS:High rates of stunting were observed in Umlazi (28 %), Rietvlei (20 %) and Paarl (17 %). Duration of CSG receipt had no effect on stunting. HIV exposure (adjusted OR=2·30; 95 % CI 1·31, 4·03) and low birth weight (adjusted=OR 2·01, 95 % CI 1·02, 3·96) were associated with stunting, and maternal education had a protective effect on stunting. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings suggest that, despite the presence of the CSG, high rates of stunting among poor children continue unabated in South Africa. We argue that the effect of the CSG on nutritional status may have been eroded by food price inflation and limited progress in the provision of other important interventions and social services.
Project description:Child cash transfers are increasingly recognised for their potential to reduce poverty and improve health outcomes. South Africa's child support grant (CSG) constitutes the largest cash transfer in the continent. No studies have been conducted to look at factors associated with successful receipt of the CSG. This paper reports findings on factors associated with CSG receipt in three settings in South Africa (Paarl in the Western Cape Province, and Umlazi and Rietvlei in KwaZulu-Natal).This study used longitudinal data from a community-based cluster-randomized trial (PROMISE EBF) promoting exclusive breastfeeding by peer-counsellors in South Africa (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00397150). 1148 mother-infant pairs were enrolled in the study and data on the CSG were collected at infant age 6, 12, 24 weeks and 18-24 months. A stratified cox proportional hazards regression model was fitted to the data to investigate factors associated with CSG receipt.Uptake of the CSG amongst eligible children at a median age of 22 months was 62% in Paarl, 64% in Rietvlei and 60% in Umlazi. Possessing a birth certificate was found to be the strongest predictor of CSG receipt (HR 3.1, 95% CI: 2.4 -4.1). Other factors also found to be independently associated with CSG receipt were an HIV-positive mother (HR 1.2, 95% CI: 1.0-1.4) and a household income below R1100 (HR1.7, 95% CI: 1.1 -2.6).Receipt of the CSG was sub optimal amongst eligible children showing administrative requirements such as possessing a birth certificate to be a serious barrier to access. In the spirit of promoting and protecting children's rights, more efforts are needed to improve and ease access to this cash transfer program.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Child survival is dependent on several factors including high vaccination coverage. Timely receipt of vaccines ensures optimal immune response to the vaccines. Yet timeliness is not usually emphasized in estimating population immunity. In addition to examining timeliness of the recommended Expanded Programme for Immunisation (EPI) vaccines, this paper identifies predictors of untimely vaccination among children aged 10 to 23 months in Kampala.<h4>Methods</h4>In addition to the household survey interview questions, additional data sources for variables included data collection of child's weight and length. Vaccination dates were obtained from child health cards. Timeliness of vaccinations were assessed with Kaplan-Meier time-to-event analysis for each vaccine based on the following time ranges (lowest-highest target age): BCG (birth-8 weeks), polio 0 (birth-4 weeks), three polio and three pentavalent vaccines (4 weeks-2 months; 8 weeks-4 months; 12 weeks-6 months) and measles vaccine (38 weeks-12 months). Cox regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with vaccination timeliness.<h4>Results</h4>About half of 821 children received all vaccines within the recommended time ranges (45.6%; 95% CI 39.8-51.2). Timely receipt of vaccinations was lowest for measles (67.5%; 95% CI 60.5-73.8) and highest for BCG vaccine (92.7%: 95% CI 88.1-95.6). For measles, 10.7% (95% CI 6.8-16.4) of the vaccinations were administered earlier than the recommended time. Vaccinations that were not received within the recommended age ranges were associated with increasing number of children per woman (adjusted hazard ratio (AHR); 1.84, 95% CI 1.29-2.64), non-delivery at health facilities (AHR 1.58, 95% CI 1.02-2.46), being unmarried (AHR 1.49, 95% CI 1.15-1.94) or being in the lowest wealth quintile (AHR 1.38, 95% CI 1.11-1.72).<h4>Conclusions</h4>Strategies to improve vaccination practices among the poorest, single, multiparous women and among mothers who do not deliver at health facilities are necessary to improve timeliness of vaccinations.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Text message (short message service, SMS) reminders and incentives are two demand-side interventions that have been shown to improve health care-seeking behaviors by targeting participant characteristics such as forgetfulness, lack of knowledge, and transport costs. Applying these interventions to routine pediatric immunizations may improve vaccination coverage and timeliness. OBJECTIVE:The Mobile Solutions for Immunization (M-SIMU) trial aims to determine if text message reminders, either with or without mobile phone-based incentives, sent to infant's parents can improve immunization coverage and timeliness of routine pediatric vaccines in rural western Kenya. METHODS:This is a four-arm, cluster, randomized controlled trial. Villages are randomized to one of four study arms prior to enrollment of participants. The study arms are: (1) no intervention (a general health-related text message will be texted to this group at the time of enrollment), (2) text message reminders only, (3) text message reminders and a 75 Kenyan Shilling (KES) incentive, or (4) text message reminders and a KES200 incentive. Participants assigned to study arms 2-4 will receive two text message reminders; sent 3 days before and one day before the scheduled immunization visit at 6, 10, and 14 weeks for polio and pentavalent (containing diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenza type b antigens) type b antigens) vaccines, and at 9 months for measles vaccine. Participants in incentive arms will, in addition to text message reminders as above, receive mobile phone-based incentives after each timely vaccination, where timely is defined as vaccination within 2 weeks of the scheduled date for each of the four routine expanded program immunization (EPI) vaccination visits. Mother-infant pairs will be followed to 12 months of age where the primary outcome, a fully immunized child, will be ascertained. A fully immunized child is defined as a child receiving vaccines for bacille Calmette-Guerin, three doses of pentavalent and polio, and measles by 12 months of age. General estimating equation (GEE) models that account for clustering will be employed for primary outcome analyses. RESULTS:Enrollment was completed in October 2014. Twelve month follow-up visits to ascertain immunization status from the maternal and child health booklet were completed in February 2016. CONCLUSIONS:This is one of the first studies to examine the effect of text message reminders on immunization coverage and timeliness in a lower income country and is the first study to assess the effect of mobile money-based incentives to improve immunization coverage. TRIAL REGISTRATION:Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01878435; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01878435 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6hQlwGYJR).
Project description:BACKGROUND:The benefits of childhood vaccines are critically dependent on vaccination coverage. We used a vaccine registry (as gold standard) in Kenya to quantify errors in routine coverage methods (surveys and administrative reports), to estimate the magnitude of survivor bias, contrast coverage with timeliness and use both measures to estimate population immunity. METHODS:Vaccination records of children in the Kilifi Health and Demographic Surveillance System (KHDSS), Kenya were combined with births, deaths, migration and residence data from 2010 to 17. Using inverse survival curves, we estimated up-to-date and age-appropriate vaccination coverage, calculated mean vaccination coverage in infancy as the area under the inverse survival curves, and estimated the proportion of fully immunised children (FIC). Results were compared with published coverage estimates. Risk factors for vaccination were assessed using Cox regression models. RESULTS:We analysed data for 49,090 infants and 48,025 children aged 12-23 months in 6 birth cohorts and 6 cross-sectional surveys respectively, and found 2nd year of life surveys overestimated coverage by 2% compared to birth cohorts. Compared to mean coverage in infants, static coverage at 12 months was exaggerated by 7-8% for third doses of oral polio, pentavalent (Penta3) and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines, and by 24% for the measles vaccine. Surveys and administrative coverage also underestimated the proportion of the fully immunised child by 10-14%. For BCG, Penta3 and measles, timeliness was 23-44% higher in children born in a health facility but 20-37% lower in those who first attended during vaccine stock outs. CONCLUSIONS:Standard coverage surveys in 12-23 month old children overestimate protection by ignoring timeliness, and survivor and recall biases. Where delayed vaccination is common, up-to-date coverage will give biased estimates of population immunity. Surveys and administrative methods also underestimate FIC prevalence. Better measurement of coverage and more sophisticated analyses are required to control vaccine preventable diseases.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Inability to track children's vaccination history coupled with parents' lack of awareness of vaccination due dates compounds the problem of low immunization coverage and timeliness in developing countries. Traditional Reminder/Recall (RR) interventions such as paper-based immunization cards or mHealth based platforms do not yield optimal results in resource-constrained settings. There is thus a need for a low-cost intervention that can simultaneously stimulate demand and track immunization history to help reduce drop-outs and improve immunization coverage and timeliness. The objective of this study is to evaluate the impact of low-cost vaccine reminder and tracker bracelets for improving routine childhood immunization coverage and timeliness in Pakistani children under 2?years of age. METHODS:The study is an individually randomized, three-arm parallel Randomized Controlled Trial with two intervention groups and one control group. Infants in the two intervention groups will be given two different types of silicone bracelets at the time of recruitment, while infants in the control group will not receive any intervention. The two types of bracelets consist of symbols and/or numbers to denote the EPI vaccination schedule and each time the child will come for vaccination, the study staff will perforate a hole in the appropriate symbol to denote vaccine administration. Therefore, by looking at the bracelet, caregivers will be able to see how many vaccines have been received. Our primary outcome measure is the increase in coverage and timeliness of Pentavalent-3/PCV-3/Polio-3 and Measles-1 vaccine in the intervention versus control groups. A total of 1446 participants will be recruited from 4 Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) centers in Landhi Town, Karachi. Each enrolled child will be followed up till the Measles-1 vaccine is administered, or till eleven months have elapsed since enrolment. DISCUSSION:Participant recruitment commenced on July 19, 2017, and was completed on October 10, 2017. Proposed duration of the study is 18?months and expected end date is December 1, 2018. This study constitutes one of the first attempts to rigorously evaluate an innovative, low-cost vaccine reminder bracelet. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03310762 . Retrospectively Registered on October 16, 2017.
Project description:BackgroundChildhood vaccination schedules recommend vaccine doses at predefined ages.AimWe evaluated vaccination completeness and timeliness in Jerusalem, a district with recurrent vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks.MethodsVaccination coverage was monitored by the up-to-date method (vaccination completeness at age 2 years). Timeliness of vaccination was assessed in children (n = 3,098, born in 2009, followed to age 48 months, re-evaluated at age 7 years) by the age-appropriate method (vaccine dose timeliness according to recommended schedule). Vaccines included: hepatitis B (HBV: birth, 1 month and 6 months); diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis, polio, Haemophilus influenzae b (DTaP-IPV-Hib: 2, 4, 6 and 12 months); pneumococcal conjugate (PCV: 2, 4 and 12 months); measles-mumps-rubella/measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMR/MMRV: 12 months) and hepatitis A (HAV: 18 and 24 months).ResultsOverall vaccination coverage (2014 cohort evaluated at age 2 years) was 95% and 86% for MMR/MMRV and DTaP-IPV-Hib4, respectively. Most children (94%, 91%, 79%, 95%, 92% and 82%) were up-to-date for HBV3, DTaP-IPV-Hib4, PCV3, MMR/MMRV1, HAV1 and HAV2 vaccines at 48 months, but only 32%, 28%, 38%, 58%, 49% and 20% were vaccinated timely (age-appropriate). At age 7 years, the median increase in vaccination coverage was 2.4%. Vaccination delay was associated with: high birth order, ethnicity (higher among Jews vs Arabs), birth in winter, delayed acceptance of first dose of DTaP-IPV-Hib and multiple-dose vaccines (vs MMR/MMRV). Jewish ultra-Orthodox communities had low vaccination coverage.ConclusionsConsiderable vaccination delay should be addressed within the vaccine hesitancy spectrum. Delays may induce susceptibility to vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks; tailored programmes to improve timeliness are required.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Inability to track children's vaccination history coupled with parents' lack of awareness of vaccination due dates compounds the problem of low immunization coverage and timeliness in developing countries. We evaluated the impact of two types of silicone immunization reminder bracelets for children in improving immunization coverage and timeliness of Pentavalent-3 and the Measles-1 vaccines. METHODS:Children <?3?months were enrolled in either of the 2 intervention groups (Alma Sana Bracelet Group and Star Bracelet Group) or the Control group. Children in the intervention groups were provided the two different bracelets at the time of recruitment. Each time the child visited the immunization center, a hole was perforated in the silicone bracelet to denote vaccine administration. Each child was followed up till administration of Measles-1 vaccine or till 12?months of age (if they did not come to the center for vaccination). Data was analyzed using the intention-to-treat population between groups. The unadjusted and adjusted Risk Ratios (RR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for Pentavalent-3 and Measles-1 coverage at 12?months of age were estimated through bivariate and multivariate analysis. Time-to-Pentavalent-3 and Measles-1 immunization curves were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method. RESULTS:A total of 1,445 children were enrolled in the study between July 19, 2017 and October 10, 2017. Baseline characteristics among the three groups were similar. Up-to-date coverage for the Pentavalent-3 /Measles-1 vaccine at 12?months of age was 84.6%/72.0%, 85.4%/70.5% and 83.0%/68.5% in Alma Sana Bracelet group, Star Bracelet group and Control group respectively but the differences were not statistically significant. In the multivariate analysis, neither the Alma Sana bracelet (adjusted RR?=?1.01; 95% CI: 0.96-1.06), (adjusted RR: 1.05; 95% CI: 0.97-1.13) nor the Star bracelet (adjusted RR?=?1.01; 95% CI: 0.96-1.06) (adjusted RR: 1.03; 95% CI: 0.95-1.11) was significantly associated with Pentavalent-3 vaccination or Measles-1 vaccination. CONCLUSION:Although we did not observe any significant impact of the bracelets on improved immunization coverage and timeliness, our findings add to the existing literature on innovative, low cost reminders for health and make several suggestions for enhancing practical implementation of these tools. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03310762 . Retrospectively Registered on October 16, 2017.
Project description:OBJECTIVE: To report on risk factors for severe events (hospitalisation or infant death) within the first half of infancy amongst HIV-unexposed infants in South Africa. METHODS: South African data from the multisite community-based cluster-randomised trial PROMISE EBF promoting exclusive breastfeeding in three sub-Saharan countries from 2006 to 2008 were used. The South African sites were Paarl in the Western Cape Province, and Umlazi and Rietvlei in KwaZulu-Natal. This analysis included 964 HIV-negative mother-infant pairs. Data on severe events and infant feeding practices were collected at 3, 6, 12 and 24 weeks post-partum. We used a stratified extended Cox model to examine the association between the time to the severe event and covariates including birthweight, with breastfeeding status as a time-dependent covariate. RESULTS: Seventy infants (7%) experienced a severe event. The median age at first hospitalisation was 8 weeks, and the two main reasons for hospitalisation were cough and difficult breathing followed by diarrhoea. Stopping breastfeeding before 6 months (HR 2.4; 95% CI 1.2-5.1) and low birthweight (HR 2.4; 95% CI 1.3-4.3) were found to increase the risk of a severe event, whilst maternal completion of high school education was protective (HR 0.3; 95% CI 0.1-0.7). CONCLUSIONS: A strengthened primary healthcare system incorporating promotion of breastfeeding and appropriate caring practices for low birthweight infants (such as kangaroo mother care) are critical. Given the leading reasons for hospitalisation, early administration of oral rehydration therapy and treatment of suspected pneumonia are key interventions needed to prevent hospitalisation in young infants.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Following the Syrian crisis, a substantial influx of Syrian refugees into Lebanon posed new challenges to optimal vaccination coverage for all children residing in the country. In 2016, the district-based immunization coverage evaluation survey (CES) assessed routine immunization coverage at the district level in Lebanon among children aged 12-59?months. METHODS:A cross-sectional multistage cluster survey was conducted in all of Lebanon (with the exception of the Nabatieh district) using the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) methodology adapted to the local context. A survey questionnaire consisting of closed and open-ended questions concerning demographic information and the child's immunization status was administered to collect immunization status information. RESULTS:Among surveyed children aged 12-59?months, irrespective of nationality, vaccination coverage at the national level for any recommended last dose was below the targeted 95%. Generally, vaccination coverage levels increased with age and were higher among Lebanese than Syrian children. However, large variations were revealed when coverage rates were analyzed at the district level. Vaccination was significantly associated with nationality, age, mother's educational status and the place of vaccination. Common reasons for undervaccination included the child's illness at the time of vaccine administration, vaccination fees, lack of awareness or a doctor's advice not to vaccinate during campaigns. CONCLUSIONS:Substantial variability exists in vaccination coverage among children aged 12-59?months residing in different districts in Lebanon. Immunization coverage reached 90% or above only for the first doses of polio and pentavalent vaccines. A considerable dropout rate from the first dose of any vaccine is observed. Efforts to optimize coverage levels should include increased vaccination initiatives targeting both refugee children and children from vulnerable host communities, increased cooperation between public and private vaccine providers, improved training for vaccine providers to adhere to complete vaccine administration recommendations, and increased awareness among caregivers.