Factors Influencing the Utilization of Routine Immunization of Children Aged 12 To 23 Months in Somalia: A Case of Garowe Town
Abshir, Said Nuriye
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Routine immunization is a lifesaving intervention which targets preventable diseases which very common in children below the age of 5 years. However, despite its importance Garowe Town in Puntland Somalia, has not achieved the desired immunization impact. This study therefore purposed to interrogate the determinants of utilization of routine immunization coverage for children aged 12 to 23 months in Garowe Town. The specific objectives of the study were to determine the influence care giver factors, interpersonal factors, health facility factors, and policy factors on the utilization of routine immunization among children aged 12 to 23 months in Garowe Town. A cross-sectional research design was the most suitable for the study where a mixed method approach was used. The study used both qualitative and quantitative data which was collected by interviewing mothers or guardians of the children, service providers in selected health facilities and community health workers. A sample size of 384 was determined by use of Fisher formula. Quantitative data was analyzed through univariate methods, descriptive statistics, Chi-square (χ2) and regression methods while qualitative data was organized and summarized through thematic analysis. The findings showed that individuals factors were negatively and significantly (β=-.001, p=0.037) influenced the utilization of routine immunization in Somalia; care giver factors reduced utilization of routine immunization, while interpersonal factors (β=0.013, p=0.046) and health facility factors (β=0.056, p=0.001) had a positive and significant influence on utilization of routine immunization among children aged 12 to 23 months in Garowe Town. Finally, policy factors were found to have a negative but insignificant (β=-0.002, p=0.465) influence on utilization of routine immunization among children aged 12 to 23 months in Garowe Town. The study concludes that utilization of the routine immunization in Garowe Town was high with 83.8% children having ever had some immunization for polio vaccines, BCG injection among others. However, a significant number of caregivers still leave their children unprotected by failing to observe the routine immunization despite being close to health facilities. Based on these findings, the study recommends that NGOs, governments’ agencies and all the stakeholders to do conduct frequent awareness campaigns to equip the residents of Somalia with knowledge with regard to utilization of routine immunization.