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1.  Portrait of a lengthy vaccination trajectory in Burkina Faso: from cultural acceptance of vaccines to actual immunization 
Background
The global recognition of vaccination is strongly related to the fact that it has proved in the past able to dramatically reduce the incidence of certain diseases. Nevertheless, reactions regarding the practice of vaccination still vary among communities, affecting the worldwide vaccination coverage. Numerous studies, conducted from varying perspectives, have focused on explaining this active refusal or resistance to vaccination. Although in some cases low immunization coverage has been well explained by active refusal or resistance to vaccination, little is known about the reasons for low coverage where those reactions are absent or play a minor role, especially outside an epidemic context. This study attempts to explain this situation, which is found in the health district of Nouna in Burkina Faso.
Methods
An in-depth ethnographic study was undertaken in the health district of Nouna in an effort to understand, from an anthropological point of view, the logic behind the parental decision-making process regarding the vaccination or non-vaccination of children, in a context where rejection of, and reservations concerning vaccination are not major obstacles.
Results
Three elements emerged from the analysis: the empirical conceptions of childhood diseases, the perceived efficacy of vaccine and the knowledge of appropriate age for vaccination uptake; the gap between the decision-making process and the actual achievement of vaccination; and the vaccination procedure leading to vaccination uptake in the particular context of the health district of Nouna.
Conclusion
The procedures parents must follow in order to obtain vaccination for their children appear complex and constraining, and on certain points discord with the traditional systems of meaning and idioms of distress related to pregnancy, the prevention of childhood diseases and with the cultural matrix shaping decision-making and behaviour. Attention needs to be directed at certain promotional, logistical and structural elements, and at the procedure that must currently be followed to obtain vaccination for a child during routine vaccination sessions, which are currently limiting the active demand for vaccination.
Abstract in French
See the full article online for a translation of this abstract in French.
doi:10.1186/1472-698X-9-S1-S9
PMCID: PMC3226241  PMID: 19828067
2.  Assessment of factors associated with complete immunization coverage in children aged 12-23 months: a cross-sectional study in Nouna district, Burkina Faso 
Background
The Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) is still in need of improvement. In Burkina Faso in 2003, for example, the Nouna health district had an immunization coverage rate of 31.5%, compared to the national rate of 52%. This study identifies specific factors associated with immunization status in Nouna health district in order to advance improved intervention strategies in this district and in those with similar environmental and social contexts.
Methods
A cross-sectional study was undertaken in 41 rural communities and one semi-urban area (urban in the text). Data on 476 children aged 12 to 23 months were analyzed from a representative sample of 489, drawn from the Nouna Health Research Centre's Demographic Surveillance System (DSS) database. The vaccination history of these children was examined. The relationships between their immunization status and social, economic and various contextual variables associated with their parents and households were assessed using Chi square test, Pearson correlation and logistic regression.
Results
The total immunization coverage was 50.2% (CI, 45.71; 54.69). Parental knowledge of the preventive value of immunization was positively related to complete immunization status (p = 0.03) in rural areas. Children of parents who reported a perception of communication problems surrounding immunization had a lower immunization coverage rate (p < 0.001). No distance related difference exists in terms of complete immunization coverage within villages and between villages outside the site of the health centres. Children of non-educated fathers in rural areas have higher rates of complete immunization coverage than those in the urban area (p = 0.028). Good communication about immunization and the importance of availability of immunization booklets, as well as economic and religious factors appear to positively affect children's immunization status.
Conclusion
Vaccination sites in remote areas are intended to provide a greater opportunity for children to access vaccination services. These efforts, however, are often hampered by the poor economic conditions of households and insufficient communication and knowledge regarding immunization issues. While comprehensive communication may improve understanding about immunization, it is necessary that local interventions also take into account religious specificities and critical economic periods. Particular approaches that take into consideration these distinctions need to be applied in both rural and urban settings.
Abstract in French
See the full article online for a translation of this abstract in French.
doi:10.1186/1472-698X-9-S1-S10
PMCID: PMC2762310  PMID: 19828054

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