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Original Research Articles

Reasons for seeking private sector vaccines available in the National Expanded Programme of Immunization for children under five years by parents residing in Nugegoda Medical Officer of Health area, Sri Lanka

Authors:

Manoj Jayakody,

Institute of Oral Health, Maharagama, LK
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Enoka Liyanage ,

Health Office, Boralesgamuwa, LK
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Medical Officer
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Pabasara Karunadasa,

Health Office, Nugegoda, LK
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Medical Officer
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Wasantha Jayakody

National Hospital of Sri Lanka, LK
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Abstract

Introduction: The government sector in Sri Lanka has a widely implemented childhood immunization programme. However, 40% of parents seek private sector services for their children's vaccination in suburban areas of the district of Colombo.

 

Objectives: To describe the socio-economic, operational, and experiential factors leading to the utilization of private sector services instead of government services for childhood immunization in Nugegoda Medical Officer of Health (MOH) area

 

Methods: A community-based descriptive study was conducted in Nugegoda MOH area. Children aged five years and below who had received one or more vaccines from the private sector were selected using systematic sampling. Data were collected using an interviewer-administered questionnaire and analysed using SPSS.

 

Results: Almost half (n=184; 53%) had attended government and private sector vaccination services with 47% (n=164) receiving all vaccines from the private sector. No major influence was found regarding the socio-economic factors with regards to seeking vaccines from private sector. Majority of the parents who have given their child at least one vaccine from the government clinics responded satisfactorily to its services, such as hospitality of the staff (n=137; 76%), hygiene of the clinic (n=138; 75%), reduced waiting time (n=114; 60%) and absence of post-vaccine side effects (n=152; 82%). Logistically, 55% (n=90) reported lack of accessible hours to obtain vaccination from the government sector, with 45% (n=84) being unable to find someone to accompany the child in their absence. Furthermore, 67% (n=124) reported coverage of expenses for private sector vaccinations by the workplace and availability of one-shot vaccines. Extra vaccines in the private sector applied to 74% (n=134) of parents. Moreover, children were vaccinated in the private sector following recommendations made by paediatrician (n=180; 52%) and the family doctor or general practitioner (n=31; 9%). Statistically significant association was seen between childhood vaccination preference and care received (government vs. private) during pregnancy (p=0.0001) and post-partum period (p=0.001).

 

Conclusions: Operational factors, place of antenatal and postnatal care, and outside recommendations from primary health providers are major contributors for the utilization of private sector service for childhood immunization, as seen in a suburban area of Colombo District.
How to Cite: Jayakody, M., Liyanage, E., Karunadasa, P. and Jayakody, W., 2020. Reasons for seeking private sector vaccines available in the National Expanded Programme of Immunization for children under five years by parents residing in Nugegoda Medical Officer of Health area, Sri Lanka. Journal of the College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka, 26(3), pp.139–147. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jccpsl.v26i3.8256
Published on 30 Nov 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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