Survey begins to assess immunisation coverage among infants in Seychelles
File photo showing a four-month old Seychellois baby being administered with the injectable polio vaccine. (Salifa Magnan, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - A survey to validate the immunisation coverage among Seychellois infants will be conducted between October 25 and November 25 by the Seychelles Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to Florida Bijoux, the survey administrator, the survey aims to determine if the 98 percent administrative coverage figure is correct.
“We want to validate this coverage. At the same time, we want to assess the knowledge, attitude and health practices of the parents,” Bijoux told SNA.
Over 380 parents or guardians of children between 24 to 35 months from the three main populated islands, Mahe, Praslin and La Digue, have been randomly selected to participate on a voluntary basis.
Bijoux said the age group 24 to 35 months was chosen because every child at that age should have received all of the necessary vaccines.
In Seychelles, an 115-island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, with a population of 93,000, the vaccination of children provides protection from a wide range of diseases, from yellow fever, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, measles, and tetanus among others.
“We took our annual birth for the year 2013 to 2014 and placed the name of the mothers with a child born during that time onto the computer. We than selected the 384 participants based on the age group, sex, the district [they live in] and the district’s population,” said Rosie Bistoquet, the coodinator of the survey.
Upon selection and acceptance to participate, individuals will do a confidential face-to-face interview.
The “Road to Health Chart” locally known as “Kart Peze” is the main tool that will be used in the assessment.
In the case of any missing information, Bistoquet said that: “We have the mandate of verifying in the vaccination register of the health centres.”
The survey contains 40 questions, equally divided into four sections -- the status of socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge, attitude and health practices about immunisation.
Results from the study will be submitted to WHO, the Ministry of Health as well as national agencies involved in vaccination.
Recommendations made during the survey will be used to develop a national communication plan which will help improve immunisation programme and services delivered.
Bijoux said that based on WHO standards, the survey should be conducted every 3 to 5 years and for Seychelles this is the first.