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Background: Missed immunisation, immunisation drop-out and coverage rates at primary health care (PHC) level indicate the level at which communities utilise the preventive services and thus serve as a measure of the strength of the public health system. They also measure the effectiveness of the immunisation programme. The extent of missed immunisation and immunisation drop-out is not well known in the study area. This study, therefore, determined the extent of missed immunisation and immunisation drop-outs in Abakaliki.
Materials and Methods: Descriptive cross-sectional analytical study design was used for the survey. Total number of infants in the health facilities was used as a sample size in this study (406 infants at Mile-Four hospital and 281 infants at St. Vincent hospital). Data were extracted from the existing immunisation registers in the two health facilities studied. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22 was used for data analysis. Ethical approval for this study was obtained from the Research and Ethics Committee (REC) of the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki (FETHA).
Results: Showed significant differences in the proportion of missed immunisations (39.7% in Mile-Four and 48.4% in St. Vincent respectively, p=0.02) and immunisation drop-outs (35.7% in Mile-Four and 47.7% in St.Vincent respectively, p=0.02). The drop-out rate is 64.3% in Mile-Four and 52.3% in St. Vincent. It also showed that 36.6% of male infants when compared to 34.8% of female infants dropped-out of the 3rd dose of pentavalent vaccines in Mile-Four while 44.5% of male infants and 51.1% of female infants dropped-out 3rd dose of pentavalent vaccines in St.Vincent hospital. There was no significant difference in the immunisation drop-out rates between male and female infants in the study groups (p>0.05).
Conclusion: A higher proportion of infants missed immunisation and dropped out of vaccination at St.Vincent than Mile-Four. This calls for an aggressive public campaign on the need to ensure immunisation timeliness for effective immunisation in such rural areas.