Stakeholder perceptions of communication about vaccination in two regions of Cameroon: A qualitative case study Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Understanding stakeholders' (parents', communities' and health workers') perspectives of communication about childhood vaccination, including their preferences for its format, delivery and content, is an important step towards designing better communication strategies and ensuring more informed parents. Our objectives were to explore stakeholders' views, experiences and preferences for childhood vaccination communication in Cameroon.In 2014, in the Central and North West Regions of Cameron, we gathered qualitative data for our case study using the following methods: semi structured interviews; observations and informal conversations during routine immunization clinics and three rounds of the National Polio Immunization Campaign; document analysis of reports and mass media communications about vaccination; and a survey of parents. We conducted a thematic analysis of the qualitative data to identify themes relating to views, experiences and perceptions of vaccination information and its delivery. Survey data were analysed using simple descriptive statistics.All of the parents interviewed felt that vaccinating their child was important, and trusted the information provided by health workers. However, many parents wanted more information. Parents did not always feel that they could ask questions during vaccination appointments. All participants felt that health workers and vaccination clinics were important sources of information. Social mobilisation activities such as door-to-door visits and announcements during religious services were important and accepted ways of communicating information, especially during vaccination campaigns. Information communicated through mass media and text messages was also seen as important. In general, stakeholders believed that more consistent messaging about routine vaccination through community channels would be helpful to remind parents of the importance of routine vaccination during ongoing rounds of vaccination campaigns against polio.This study confirms that parents regard information about childhood vaccination as important, but that health services need to be organized in ways that prioritize and facilitate communication, particularly about routine vaccination.

publication date

  • 2017