Influence of parental knowledge and attitude on childhood immunization in a selected households of Bushenyi District

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Kampala International University. School of Health Sciences Western Campus
Vaccine preventable diseases are considered one of the main causes of sicknesses and deaths among children all over the world. Parents’ knowledge and attitudes towards immunization are likely influencing vaccination uptake. Vaccination is one of the most cost effective public health tools to prevent infectious diseases.This study aimed to assess knowledge, attitudes and practices of parents towards immunization in Bushenyi District. That is to determine the basic knowledge and attitude of mothers, fathers and caretakers living in Bushenyi District towards childhood immunization (KATCI) and to demonstrate how these KATCI correlate with the full, on-time vaccination status of the children of these parents.This study was a prospective, cross sectional study at Kampala International University Western Campus. Using simple random sampling, a sample size of 100 participants of mothers, fathers, and caretakers was selected and data collected with self-administered questionnaires. The data was analyzed using Chi square and frequency in the Statistical Package for Social Sciences [SPSS].The study revealed that 91.5% of the children had been immunized belonging to 94 parents who participated in the study in Bushenyi District. Four point seven (4.7%) were not immunized while 3.8% were not fully immunized. Different factors were advanced by the parents for not immunizing or not fully immunizing their children. These are related to knowledge, attitudes and practice of the parents. The following factors affect parent’s attitude towards childhood immunization: education of parents, misconception about immunization caused by the different sources of information, ignorance of parents on the importance of immunization, fear of side effects and safety concerns about the vaccines, religious beliefs, gender based disparities and distance to the health centres.From the findings, it could be concluded that the low coverage of immunisation and completion of immunisation in Bushenyi District is due to parental knowledge and attitudes towards childhood immunization. Factors such as poverty, age, sex, poverty, religious beliefs, misinformation, side effects of the vaccines, distance to the healthcare centres, and busy schedules of parents have contributed to the poor parental knowledge and attitude towards immunization. Having improper dissemination of information and communication about immunization was found as one of the reasons for poor parental knowledge and attitude towards immunization of their children and/or completion of their children’s immunization schedules.
A research report submitted to Kampala International University in partial fulfillment for the award of degree of bachelor of medicine and surgery
Childhood immunization, Bushenyi District, Parental knowledge