Jérôme Ateudjieu 1 , 2 , 3 , Martin Ndinakie Yakum , 1 , André Pascal Goura 1 , Ayok Maureen Tembei 1 , Douanla Koutio Ingrid 1 , Beyala Bita’a Landry 1 , Bruno Kenfack 2 , 3 , Lapia Amada 1 , Isaac Tadzong 1 , Anne Cecile Bissek 4
13 February 2020
Monitoring of the expanded program on immunization’s performance is not only limited to routine periodic reports but equally includes surveys. Based on unpublished national EPI surveillance data from the past 5 years in Cameroon, the Foumban health district has reported a high number of vaccine preventable disease suspected cases. Contradictory information on the immunization coverage in this district exists from both administrative data and published literature. As a result, the objective of this study was to estimate the immunization coverage and dropout rate in age group 12–23 months and timeliness in age group 0–59 months among children in Foumban Health District (Cameroon), in 2018.
This was a descriptive cross-sectional study targeting randomly selected children aged 0–59 months from Foumban health district. Data were collected by trained and supervised surveyors using a pretested questionnaire to describe the immunization coverage, timeliness and dropout rate in eighty clusters of about thirty buildings selected by stratified random sampling in July 2018.
In total, 80 clusters covering 2121 buildings were selected and all were reached (100%). A total of 1549 (81.2%) households accepted to participate in the survey and 1430 children aged 0–59 months including 294 (20.6%) aged 12–23 months were enrolled into the study. Of these 1430 children, 427 [29.9 (27.4–32.2)%] aged 0–59 months were vaccinated with evidence. In the age group 12–23 months, the immunization coverage with evidence of BCG, DPT-Hi + Hb 3 and measles/rubella were 28.6(23.4–33.9)%, 22.8 (18.1–27.6)% and 14.3 (10.3–18.1)% respectively. Within age group 0–59 months; the proportion of children who missed their vaccination appointments increased from 23.3 to 31.7% for the vaccine planned at birth (BCG) and last vaccine planned (Measles/Rubella) for the EPI program respectively. In age group 12–23 months; the specific (DPT-Hi + Hb1–3) and general (BCG-Measles/Rubella) dropout rates of vaccination with evidence were 14.1 and 50.0% respectively.
Documented immunization coverage, dropout rate and timeliness in Foumban Health district are lower than that targeted by the Cameroon EPI. Competent health authorities have to take necessary actions to ensure the implementation of national guidelines with regards to children access to immunization. Also, studies have to be conducted to identify determinants of low immunization coverage and delays in immunization schedules as well as high dropout rates.