Effect of COVID-19 on immunization coverage of children aged 0-11 months in the centre region of Cameroon

Authors

  • Loïc Doria Djommo Metchehe Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Dschang; Global Research Agency https://orcid.org/0009-0009-9424-9088
  • Ketina Hirma Tchio-Nighie Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Dschang; Department of Health Research, M.A. SANTE, Yaounde https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4887-8931
  • Blaise Wakam Nkontchou Expanded Program of Immunization, Ministry of Public Health, Yaounde; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation https://orcid.org/0009-0002-4441-294X
  • Lena Loretta Kouagnang Tchoukio Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Dschang https://orcid.org/0009-0003-9489-231X
  • Jerome Ateudjieu Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Dschang; Department of Health Research, M.A. SANTE, Yaounde; Division of Health Operations Research, Ministry of Public Health, Yaounde

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4081/jphia.2023.2433

Keywords:

Effect of COVID-19 on vaccination, vaccination coverage, COVID-19 pandemic, Cameroon, Central Africa

Abstract

Introduction. The occurrence of epidemics is known to contribute in reducing the capacity of health facilities to deliver care and the predisposition of populations to seek care through several mechanisms. Objective. The objective was to assess the effect of the COVID-19 on vaccination coverage of the expanded program of immunization (EPI) vaccines in children aged 0-11 months. Methods. The study involved a descriptive and case control designs exhaustively targeting health facilities in health areas from selected health districts. The descriptive part explored the distribution of immunization coverage 12 months before and during COVID-19. Data were extracted from monthly EPI reports of health areas. Cases were months with immunization coverages of Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG), Measles Mumps-Rubella 1 (MMR1) or Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus Hepatitis B + Hemophilus influenzae type b dose 3 (DPT-Hi+Hb3) less than 80%. The exposure were months belonging to the pandemic period. Results. Of the 78 targeted health areas, 74 (94.87%) were reached. The monthly immunization coverage of BCG, RR1, DPT-Hi+Hb 1 and 3 decreased during the pandemic period by minimum 30%. Being a health-area month belonging to the COVID-19 pandemic period was found to be significantly associated to lower BCG (OR=2.00 [1.61; 2.50]; p<0.001), MMR1(OR=2.45 [1.76; 3.41]; p<0.001) and DPT-Hi+Hb3 (OR=2.11 [1.68; 2.64]; p<0.001) immunisation coverage. Conclusions. COVID-19 had a significant effect on the decrease of immunization coverages of antigens offered in the EPI program. This raises the need to develop interventions during health emergencies to prevent disruption of health services access.

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Published

30-08-2023

How to Cite

Djommo Metchehe, L. D., Tchio-Nighie, K. H., Wakam Nkontchou, B., Kouagnang Tchoukio, L. L., & Ateudjieu, J. (2023). Effect of COVID-19 on immunization coverage of children aged 0-11 months in the centre region of Cameroon. Journal of Public Health in Africa, 14(9). https://doi.org/10.4081/jphia.2023.2433

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