Problems Associated With Immunization Of Children Among The Illiterate Mothers In Esan West Local Government Area

Project and Seminar Material for Sociology

Problems Associated With Immunization Of Children Among The Illiterate Mothers In Esan West Local Government Area


This study is attempted to provide a general information and knowledge about the problems associated with immunization among illiterate mother in Esan West Local Government Area from the findings, it was observed that ignorance and inability of mothers to get their child immunized lead to death of children so government area advised to explain the main importance of immunization to mothers in order to increase the rate of immunization.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

The immunization of a new born child is a very important way of preventing illness considering the way common diseases that claimed the life of children. According to Oichl and Datrymple (2009) when more than 50% of a community population are immunized against a disease, the possibility of epidemic is removed. Supporting this view, Ogbuibe (2005) pointed out that the entry point to be fill introduction of all elements of primary health care system, immunization against diseases in one of the fairly they elements of the child’s survival and development. The national programme of immunization was for certain target groups of the population mainly children within the large group of 0-2 years and pregnant mothers or women. It is target against the six deadly and childhood diseases. These diseases are tuberculosis, measles, poliomyelitis, tetanus, chicken pox and whooping cough. The high rate of mortality from disease preventable by immunization underscores the need for immunization was the most effective programme to reduce these diseases for which satisfactory immunization procedures have been established.

When a disease is peculiar to certain area, health authorities may recommend immunization of all persons in that area particularly those who are likely to be exposed to it. To buttress this view, Anderson (2000) suggested that mass immunization against typhoid fever is not advocated but if an epidemic occurs in a community, health authorities may implore all susceptible persons to be immunized. The success of any immunization programme depends largely on the target population. It is pertinent to note that mothers are the persons in the issues of the children rearing pattern in our society whereby the mothers rather than fathers are the home keepers and know better about their children’s immunization status. Therefore, all children should be protected. All mothers should understand the importance of immunization to ensure this, Sohem (2005) recommended the vaccination of all new born children should be registered at all health clinics for routine immunization. This entails that they should undergo all stages of immunization.

According to the oxford advanced learners dictionary (2004), immunization is the process of protecting an individual or animal from a disease especially by giving them an injection or a vaccine. Immunization is also defined as a process by which human beings protect themselves from, or against deadly diseases such as poliomyelitis, measles, tuberculosis, diphtheria, whooping cough, vaccination is also another name for immunizing living things against deadly diseases. Immunization is done to make the body resist invasion of pathogenic microbes like bacteria, protozoa and virus. In immunization, a small quantity of a dead parasitic organism is injected into the body of a healthy person (somebody that is free from that parasite organism), the body recognized the antigen as foreign response by realizing specialized protein called antibodies. These antibodies have specific protective properties and the body become immune against the disease that are caused by micro-organisms. Immunization can be active, positive, natural, or acquired.

Immunization is the act of protecting someone against a disease by the intake of inoculation of vaccine or other protective agents which stimulate natural body resistance. It could be active or passive. Immunization is the active which involves administering agents which stimulates the receivers’ own immunological mechanism who responds by producing reactions in his resistance to infect by the organisms from which the antigen was derived or obtained. This takes several weeks to produce effective protection hence, it has a prophylactic value but last forever. On the other hand, immunization is said to be passive by the giving of already made anti-bodies formed by another lost in response to natural injection. This has immediate protective and therapeutic value but last for a short period.

Parent especially the mothers in question do not get their children immunized. The superstition belief or idea that disease are caused by witches and wizards are strongly rooted in their mind, some believes that diseases are caused by evil spirit and the only way out for them to avoid it is by offering sacrifice and some believe that it is the sin that the parents have committed towards the gods that make the child to be like that and there is no solution to the sickness of the child.

Some parent know where and how to obtain it but do not take their children to the clinic for immunization while others that made attempts to take their children to the clinic for immunization may start and will not complete the normal dose they are supposed to give to that child. In a particular health center, i.e. Ikpoba Okha Health center in Edo State, between January 2007 to December 2010, fifty six thousand six hundred and forty two (56,642) children were registered for different types of immunization. Out of these only thirty four thousand six hundred and twenty two (34, 622) children completed their immunization, the remaining twenty two thousand and twenty (22,020) fall to complete their immunization. Some mothers later brought their children to complete their immunization after a long time. When they asked them why they did not bring their children ever since, the most population reason they gave was that, they were not chanced due to their jobs. They devoted much time to their jobs e.g. trading, government workers etc others said they came several times but in most occasions, the nurses asked them to go home that the health of their babies was poor.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The decision to carry out the study was due to the problem associated with immunization of children among the illiterate mothers in Esan West Local Government Area. In the past, many children died before the age of 5 or before the school age due to communicable diseases e.g. tuberculosis, diphtheria, poliomyelitis, whooping cough, measles, tetanus etc. they did not know that these disease could be prevented. These communicable disease were discovered by scientific researcher, clinics are established where the disease can be prevented by treatment. Many people are not still making use of the clinic and health center, perhaps due to ignorance, inability of mothers to get the facilities or non availability of vaccine or lack of understanding.

1.3 Purpose Of The Study

This research work is an attempt to study the attitude of mothers towards immunization in Esan West Local Government Area in Edo State.

The purpose of this study is to:

  1. To find out why mothers refused to bring their children for immunization
  2. To know why some mothers started but refuse to complete the normal schedule
  3. To know or find out how many children register in the clinic and health center for the immunization during the  period of January 2010 to December 2010.
  4. To know the number of children who started the immunization and completed the normal schedule
  5. To know the number of children that started the immunization but refuse to complete it.

1.4 Significance of the Study

This research is expected to be of great importance to parents and the general public in Esan West Local Government Area who will appreciate the implication of the problem of immunization and know the best way to handle them. The study conducted was done to aid the following group of people.

  • The mothers
  • The health center
  • Ministry of health, Edo State.
The Mothers:

The mother will be advice properly on what they should do. The information gathered will be of great importance which may change mother’s attitudes towards immunization programme.

The health center:

The suggestion made will be used as a source of correction measure to health persons on one way or the other may have contributed to the lukewarm attitude of mothers when they bring their children for immunization through health education and lack of follow up visit to trace defaulters.

Ministry of health, Edo State:

The findings may serve as a clue for Edo State Ministry of health to make better plan by making of health to make better plan by making adequate provision of vaccine and training more people into the health sector to promote child immunization in Edo State.

1.5 Research Questions

Based on the assumption made, the following research questions are postulated.

  1. Does ignorance of mothers contribute to their attitude towards immunization?
  2. Does lack of immunization lead to death of children?
  3. Do mother get actively involved and delighted in the immunization of the children?
  4. Does the behaviour of health workers affect mothers in the immunization of their children?

1.6 Scope of the Study

This is restricted to the attitude of mothers towards immunization in some selected health centres in Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State. The sample population is made up of mothers who were selected by simple random process.

1.8 Definition of Terms


The state of well being physically and mentally.

Health Center:

A building where group of doctors, nurses and health workers see their patients.


A female parent of a child.


A young human who is not yet an adult.


To protect a person or an animal from disease or an animal from disease especially by giving them an injection or a vaccine.


An infectious disease especially of children that cause fever and small red spots that cover the whole body.


A serious infectious disease in which swellings appear on the lungs and other part of the body.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to evaluate the problems associated with immunization of children among the illiterate mothers.

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges associated with immunization of children among illiterate mothers.

5.2 Summary

Parent’s education plays an important role in determining the health conditions for children. It helps the children to be mentally healthy and active. People are reluctant to allow their women to go out for education and other chores in some part of Nigeria so literacy rate is very low in these regions having poor health system. In rural areas the basic necessities of life are not available up to mark. They have to travel a long distance to get basic health facilities. The vaccination system is also not proper. The other dilemma rural areas are that the people have no access to the basic education at school level. Due to prejudice thinking people are reluctant to allow their females to get education.. There are some families where the females are allocated the authority as the head of family. It was concluded that the uneducated females living in villages immunized their children less than the highly educated mothers living in cities. The male head of family also immunized their children less than the female heads of the family. It was recommended that the females should be provided education to get awareness about the basic issues of practical life. Awareness campaign should be started at rural areas so that people can immunize their children to prevent their children from disease. Male head of family should also take care of children and help their females.

5.3 Conclusion

The study was to examine the problems associated with immunization of children among illiterate mother, some mothers still did not attend vaccination centers because of delay in vaccine supply, clashes of immunization days with their economic activities, especially the market days, and the negative attitude of some clinic staff. Perceived side-effects of vaccine did not have strong negative influence on patronage of immunization. Nevertheless, mothers’ recurring experiences of delay due to the length of time it took to get immunization supplies from Ibadan cold chain store, and uncertainty of those supplies, perception of vaccination, and the role of the significant others like the mother-in-law and husbands and immunization schedules might increase the rate non-attendance at vaccination clinics which might lead to declining vaccination rate. The consequence of this is very crucial because declining vaccination rates have been associated with outbreaks of preventable diseases, especially measles and polio, in many places.

5.4 Recommendations

The researcher is of the opinion that, there is a need to supplement an understanding of demand-supply dynamics with efforts to address problems associated with vaccine supply and its links with the wider context of primary health-care financing and delivery in Nigeria. To address the problem of supply of vaccine, government should establish sustainable cold chain facility in the local communities. For instance, solar-energy powered freezers will be appropriate in such communities. Clinic staff should be trained in ethical conduct of health-care delivery to enhance their relationship with mothers. Public engagement strategy will be necessary to tackle the problem of clashes between immunization schedules and mothers’ personal programs. This will help to produce immunization schedules acceptable to both the clinic staff and the mothers. Finally, there is need to train the clinic staff in clinical ethics to be able to relate well with patients

Problems Associated With Immunization Of Children Among The Illiterate Mothers In Esan West Local Government Area

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