The impact of mothers' knowledge on the immunisation of children younger than five in ga-rankuwa, South Africa
Africa Journal of Nursing and Midwifery
Tshwane University of Technology, Adelaide Tambo School of Nursing, South Africa
Routine immunisation at an appropriate age is the best means of averting vaccine-preventable diseases. Though the immunisation coverage rates for all nine provinces in South Africa are available, these are not available for smaller locations, such as Ga-Rankuwa, in the Gauteng province of South Africa (hereafter Gauteng). The main problem addressed by this study was the unavailability of immunisation coverage rate for Ga-Rankuwa, based on the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI). Information was also lacking about mothers' knowledge regarding immunisation and barriers they encountered to immunise their children younger than five. Data were gathered by direct observation of the Road-to-Health charts (n = 926) of children in Ga-Rankuwa. The mothers' knowledge levels were estimated by using structured interview schedules. Of the children, 46.1% (n = 426) missed one or more immunisations according to the schedule. The 60 month coverage rate was only 19.0%. Some mothers (59.8%) only used the Road-to-Health chart for the child's weight and 31.4% were unable to interpret the chart. Community-specific interventions, based on the evidence generated by the study, are urgently required to enhance the immunisation coverage in Ga-Rankuwa. © ISSN 1682-5055.