SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.105 issue11School-based human papillomavirus vaccination: An opportunity to increase knowledge about cervical cancer and improve uptake of screeningA profile of anti-vaccination lobbying on the South African internet, 2011 - 2013 author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google


SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574


JACOB, N  and  COETZEE, D. Missed opportunities for immunisation in health facilities in Cape Town, South Africa. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2015, vol.105, n.11, pp.917-921. ISSN 2078-5135.

BACKGROUND: Childhood immunisations are a cost-effective public health intervention for prevention of infectious diseases. Immunisation coverage is still suboptimal, however, which may result in disease outbreaks. Immunisation at every contact with a health facility is a strategy developed by the World Health Organization in order to improve immunisation coverage. OBJECTIVES: To estimate the prevalence of missed opportunities for immunisation at different levels of healthcare in the Western Cape Province, South Africa, and assess factors associated with missed opportunities. METHODS: The study included a health facility-based cross-sectional exit survey of caregivers with children up to 5 years of age, followed by a qualitative exploration of staff attitudes towards immunisation. RESULTS: The overall prevalence of missed opportunities for immunisation was 4.6%; 81.3% of caregivers brought Road-to-Health booklets (RTHBs) to consultations; and 56.0% of health workers asked to see the RTHBs during consultations. Children attending primary level facilities were significantly more likely to have their RTHBs requested than children attending a tertiary level facility. Lack of training and resources and heavy workloads were the main challenges reported at secondary/tertiary level facilities. CONCLUSION: Missed opportunities for immunisation at health facilities in Cape Town were low, probably reflecting good immunisation coverage among children accessing health facilities. Increased health worker support, particularly at secondary/tertiary levels of care, is needed to improve the use of RTHBs to provide immunisation.

        · text in English     · English ( pdf )


Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License