Ensuring Infant Immunization Timeliness and Completion in Urban Slums Through Older Women's Participation
Folusho Balogun of the University of Ibadan in Nigeria will train older women who are traditionally involved in childcare in Nigeria to ensure infants in their communities are fully immunized. Many young children in Nigeria, particularly those in urban slums, are not fully immunized, or are immunized too late, leading to an unacceptably high under-five mortality rate. This is due in part to the mothers not understanding how critical immunizations are. In many African nations, the care of young children is also overseen by older women in the community such as grandmothers or neighbors. They hypothesize that training these older women to be formally involved in promoting immunizations will help to ensure all children complete the full package on time. They will select five urban slum communities in southwest Nigeria and use focus group discussions to explore the views of the older women on current immunization programs. They will use this to design a manual to train a group of older women who will be associated with pregnant women in the community, and evaluate the effect on immunization of the infants up to nine months.