Introduction: Vaccination prevents two to three million deaths annually, nevertheless, in 2018; 20 million children missed out on lifesaving measles, diphtheria, and tetanus vaccines. In 2019, in Sudan, approximately 39000 children missed those vaccines too. The aim of this study is to determine the percentage of unvaccinated children in three major pediatrics hospitals in Khartoum state and to assess the possible factors associated with the vaccination status.
Methods: We conducted an analytic cross-sectional study from 9/12/2020 to 16/12/2020 period in the selected hospitals. The study population was all children admitted to the chosen hospitals. Total coverage method was used for sampling. The questionnaire targeted assessment of the vaccination status and the potential factors associated with it. Descriptive statistics were applied to analyze the demographic characteristics while Chi-Square and Fisher's exact tests were used to assess the factors associated with vaccination.
Results: A total of 111 patients were included, of which 29 (26.1%) were unvaccinated. We found a statistically significant association between the child vaccination status and: Residence (P value<0.001), with higher percentage of unvaccinated children in rural areas; Mother’s level of education (P value <0.001) and, mother’s access to Antenatal care (P value = 0.018). We also found a significant association between the vaccination status and the possession of a vaccination card (P value<0.001), with 88.8% of the children having a vaccination card being fully vaccinated compared to 13.6% among those who don’t. An additional significant association was found between the vaccination status and the proximity of the vaccination center (P value<0.001) with those living near a vaccination center having a higher percentage of vaccination (79.6%) compared to 30.8% among those who need to travel to get vaccinated.
Conclusion: Our study showed that a considerable portion of the participants were not fully vaccinated, the most important factors associated with unvaccination including the residence, mother’s education, and the possession of a vaccination card, and finally, the proximity of the vaccination center, indicating that financial and infrastructural factors may also play a role in preventing vaccination.
Recommendations: Further nation-wide studies are needed to study the vaccination coverage in Sudan, and to further explore additional factors that are associated with vaccination in order to target them specifically and hopefully reach the goal of full vaccination coverage in Sudan.