Background: The under-5 mortality rate in Ethiopia is 118/1000. A child in Ethiopia is 30 times more likely to die before age 5 than a child in Western Europe. Children are the most vulnerable segment of the population, but many of the ailments that cause death in this population can be avoided by completion of routine childhood vaccination.
Objectives: To identify barriers to childhood vaccination completion in Ethiopia.
Methods: Data regarding child health from the latest (2005) Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), a periodic cross-sectional survey administered at the household level was utilized in this study. Data from 8,905 mothers of living children between 0-5 years of age was included in the study. Univariate and multivariate analyses of selected socio-demographic variables were conducted to examine association with vaccination status.
Results: Risk factors for vaccination defaulting were identified. Logistic modeling with the selected factors was conducted with vaccination status and the demographic characteristics of families as independent factors. Type of Residence, Region and Wealth Index were the only significant characteristic in predicting the likelihood of a child being vaccinated when controlled for other factors.
Conclusions: The results of this study illustrate that geographic disparities result in lower vaccination completion for lower income families from rural settings than other groups. Families’ behavior around child vaccination is a microcosm of various social determinants affecting their decision-making. Resources further removed from health such as better roads and education can improve vaccination uptake.