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A Cross-Sectional Study On Caregivers Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices about the Routine Immunisation Program in Tshwane Sub-District 2, Gauteng, South Africa: 2015

Author(s): Makgomo R Mphaka, Mpho Moshime, Carl Reddy

Introduction: Despite childhood immunisation services being free in South Africa, Tshwane sub-district 2 continues to have the lowest vaccine coverage rate of all the Tshwane sub-districts in Gauteng province which is below the 90% national target. For measles, the immunisation coverage target is 95% and 90% for other antigens. To understand the factors for low coverage, a caregivers’ knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) study regarding the routine immunisation programme was done.

Methods: A cross sectional survey was conducted among caregivers of children <5 years old attending 10 of the 12 clinics in sub-district 2 for any health reason from June to August 2015. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used and immunisation cards were reviewed. Of 23 questions asked, 18 assessed knowledge, 3 attitudes and 2 practices. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the data using STATA version 13 and Microsoft Excel.

Results: A total of 326 caregivers were enrolled. Mean caregiver age [standard deviation (SD)] was 29.1 (9.61) years. Although 29% (94/326) of the caregivers knew at least three vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs), 13% did not know any. Approximately one third of caregivers, (114/326, 35%) could list at least two VPDs, with polio (70.3%) and measles (57.7%) being mentioned most often. Of the 318 cards reviewed, 82% of children were fully immunised. Mean (SD) score for knowledge was 5.4 (2.7), out of 18; while for attitudes and practices it was 4.4 (1.1), out of 5.

Conclusion: Low knowledge, even among caregivers of infants who were fully immunised, but positive attitudes regarding immunisation were found among caregivers in Tshwane sub-district 2. To attain the 95% immunisation coverage target, health care providers should identify caregivers with infants that are not fully immunised to understand

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