Complete basic childhood vaccination and associated factors among children aged 12–23 months in East Africa: a multilevel analysis of recent demographic and health surveys

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Background: Complete childhood vaccination remains poor in Sub-Saharan Africa, despite major improvement in childhood vaccination coverage worldwide. Globally, an estimated 2.5 million children die annually from vaccine-preventable diseases. While studies are being conducted in different East African countries, there is limited evidence of complete basic childhood vaccinations and associated factors in East Africa among children aged 12–23 months. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate complete basic childhood vaccinations and associated factors among children aged 12–23 months in East Africa. Methods: Based on the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHSs) of 12 East African countries (Burundi, Ethiopia, Comoros, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Zambia, and Malawi), secondary data analysis was performed. The study included a total weighted sample of 18,811 children aged 12–23 months. The basic childhood vaccination coverage was presented using a bar graph. Multilevel binary logistic regression analysis was fitted for identifying significantly associated factors because the DHS has a hierarchical nature. The Intra-class Correlation Coefficient (ICC), Median Odds Ratio (MOR), Proportional Change in Variance (PCV), and deviance (−2LLR) were used for checking model fitness, and for model comparison. Variable with p-value ≤0.2 in the bi-variable multilevel analysis were considered for the multivariable analysis. In the multivariable multilevel analysis, the Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) with 95% Confidence Interval (CI) were reported to declare the significance and strength of association with full vaccination. Results: Complete basic childhood vaccination in East Africa was 69.21% (95% CI, 69.20, 69.21%). In the multivariable multilevel analysis; Mothers aged 25–34 years (AOR = 1.21, 95% CI: 1.10, 1.32), mothers aged 35 years and above (AOR = 1.50, 95% CI: 1.31, 1.71), maternal primary education (AOR = 1.26, 95% CI: 1.15, 1.38), maternal secondary education and above (AOR = 1.54, 95% CI: 1.36, 1.75), husband primary education (AOR = 1.25, 95% CI: 1.13, 1.39), husband secondary education and above (AOR = 1.24, 95% CI: 1.11, 1.40), media exposure (AOR = 1.23, 95% CI: 1.13, 1.33), birth interval of 24–48 months (AOR = 1.28, 95% CI: 1.15, 1.42), birth interval greater than 48 months (AOR = 1.35, 95% CI: 1.21, 1.50), having 1–3 ANC visit (AOR = 3.24, 95% CI: 2.78, 3.77), four and above ANC visit (AOR = 3.68, 95% CI: 3.17, 4.28), PNC visit (AOR = 1.34, 95% CI: 1.23, 1.47), health facility delivery (AOR = 1.48, 95% CI: 1.35, 1.62), large size at birth 1.09 (AOR = 1.09, 95% CI: 1.01, 1.19), being 4–6 births (AOR = 0.83, 95% CI: 0.75, 0.91), being above the sixth birth (AOR = 0.60, 95% CI: 0.52, 0.70), middle wealth index (AOR = 1.16, 95% CI: 1.06, 1.28), rich wealth index (AOR = 1.20, 95% CI: 1.09, 1.33), community poverty (AOR = 1.21, 95% CI: 1.11, 1.32) and country were significantly associated with complete childhood vaccination. Conclusions: In East Africa, full basic childhood vaccine coverage remains a major public health concern with substantial differences across countries. Complete basic childhood vaccination was significantly associated with maternal age, maternal education, husband education, media exposure, preceding birth interval, number of ANC visits, PNC visits, place of delivery, child-size at birth, parity, wealth index, country, and community poverty. Public health interventions should therefore target children born to uneducated mothers and fathers, poor families, and those who have not used maternal health services to enhance full childhood vaccination to reduce the incidence of child mortality from vaccine-preventable diseases.




Tesema, G. A., Tessema, Z. T., Tamirat, K. S., & Teshale, A. B. (2020). Complete basic childhood vaccination and associated factors among children aged 12–23 months in East Africa: a multilevel analysis of recent demographic and health surveys. BMC Public Health, 20(1).

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