Knowledge and perceptions regarding immunization among mothers of under five children: a community study from South Kerala

Navaneetha N., Sherin Billy Abraham, Thushara Thomas, Rose Mary, Bhuvanendu ., Hilal Abbas


Background: Immunization coverage is undisputedly the most effective health status and outcome indicator.  Though India is effectively organizing vaccination campaigns, a large majority of children are often left out. Strong anti-vaccination propaganda is influencing the decision of parents. This study was initiated in the context of vaccine-preventable disease outbreak rising recently in Kerala to assess the knowledge and practices of mothers of children less than five years regarding immunization.

Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted among 140 women with children less than 5 years. Sample was drawn from the rural and urban field practice areas of a tertiary care teaching hospital. A pilot tested interviewer administered questionnaire was used to assess the knowledge and practices of immunization among mothers of under-five children. Chi-Square test was used to find the association between dichotomous variables.

Results: In the study group 96.4% of the children were fully immunized. Mean score on knowledge regarding immunization among the study population was 6.45 (SD=1.84). Majority (89%) of the mothers agreed on the importance of vaccination. More than half (57.1%) had heard of anti-vaccination campaign and 24.3% were influenced by it at one time or the other. Higher knowledge score was associated with mothers residing in urban area, better occupation of mother and educational status of father. Age of child, sex, religion, type of family did not influence knowledge level. Factors influencing the perceived importance of vaccination are better occupation of father, higher education status of father and mother.

Conclusions: Vaccination was perceived significant for child’s health. Immunization coverage in the study population was high. The level of knowledge regarding immunization among the study population was poor. Anti-vaccination campaign has influenced the population at one time or the other.


Anti-vaccination campaign, Immunization, Under-five children

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