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1.  Assessment of measles immunity among infants in Maputo City, Mozambique 
BMC Public Health  2008;8:386.
Background
The optimum age for measles vaccination varies from country to country and thus a standardized vaccination schedule is controversial. While the increase in measles vaccination coverage has produced significant changes in the epidemiology of infection, vaccination schedules have not been adjusted. Instead, measures to cut wild-type virus transmission through mass vaccination campaigns have been instituted. This study estimates the presence of measles antibodies among six- and nine-month-old children and assesses the current vaccination seroconversion by using a non invasive method in Maputo City, Mozambique.
Methods
Six- and nine-month old children and their mothers were screened in a cross-sectional study for measles-specific antibodies in oral fluid. All vaccinated children were invited for a follow-up visit 15 days after immunization to assess seroconversion.
Results
82.4% of the children lost maternal antibodies by six months. Most children were antibody-positive post-vaccination at nine months, although 30.5 % of nine month old children had antibodies in oral fluid before vaccination. We suggest that these pre-vaccination antibodies are due to contact with wild-type of measles virus. The observed seroconversion rate after vaccination was 84.2%.
Conclusion
These data indicate a need to re-evaluate the effectiveness of the measles immunization policy in the current epidemiological scenario.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-386
PMCID: PMC2630948  PMID: 19014485
2.  Risk factors for incomplete vaccination and missed opportunity for immunization in rural Mozambique 
BMC Public Health  2008;8:161.
Background
Inadequate levels of immunization against childhood diseases remain a significant public health problem in resource-poor areas of the globe. Nonetheless, the reasons for incomplete vaccination and non-uptake of immunization services are poorly understood. This study aimed at finding out the reasons for non-vaccination and the magnitude of missed opportunities for vaccination in children less than two years of age in a rural area in southern Mozambique.
Methods
Mothers of children under two years of age (N = 668) were interviewed in a cross-sectional study. The Road-to-Health card was utilized to check for completeness and correctness of vaccination schedule as well as for identifying the appropriate use of all available opportunities for vaccination. The chi-square test and the logistic regression were used for statistical analysis.
Results
We found that 28.2% of the children had not completed the vaccination program by two years of age, 25.7% had experienced a missed opportunity for vaccination and 14.9% were incorrectly vaccinated. Reasons for incomplete vaccination were associated with accessibility to the vaccination sites, no schooling of mothers and children born at home or outside Mozambique.
Conclusion
Efforts to increase vaccination coverage should take into account factors that contribute to the incomplete vaccination status of children. Missed opportunities for vaccination and incorrect vaccination need to be avoided in order to increase the vaccine coverage for those clients that reach the health facility, specially in those countries where health services do not have 100% of coverage.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-161
PMCID: PMC2405792  PMID: 18485194
3.  Assessment of routine surveillance data as a tool to investigate measles outbreaks in Mozambique 
Background
Measles remains a major public health problem in Mozambique despite significant efforts to control the disease. Currently, health authorities base their outbreak control on data from the routine surveillance system while vaccine coverage and efficacy are calculated based on mathematical projections of the target population. The aim of this work was to assess the quality of the measles reporting system during two outbreaks that occurred in Maputo City (1998) and in Manica Province (2002).
Methods
Retrospectively, we collected data from the routine surveillance system, i.e. register books at health facilities and weekly provincial and national epidemiological reports. To test whether the provinces registered an outbreak, the distribution of measles cases was compared to an endemic level established based on cases reported in previous years.
Results
There was a significant under-notification of measles cases from the health facilities to the province and national level. Register books, the primary sources of information for the measles surveillance system, were found to be incomplete for two main variables: "age" and "vaccination status".
Conclusion
The Mozambican surveillance system is based on poor quality records, receives the notification of only a fraction of the total number of measles in the country and may result in failures do detect epidemics. The measles reporting system does not provide the data needed by Expanded Program on Immunisation managers to make evidence-based decisions, nor does it allow in-depth analysis to monitor measles epidemiology in the country. The progress of Mozambique to the next stage of measles elimination will require an improvement of the routine surveillance system and a stronger Health Information System.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-6-29
PMCID: PMC1388222  PMID: 16504049

Results 1-3 (3)