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The trend of full vaccination coverage in infants and inequalities by wealth quintile and maternal education: analysis from four recent demographic and health surveys in Nepal
Authors: Kiran Acharya, Yuba Raj Paudel, and Dinesh Dharel
Source: BMC Public Health, 19: 1673; DOI:10.1186/s12889-019-7995-3
Topic(s): Child health
Health equity
Maternal health
Wealth Index
Country: Asia
Published: DEC 2019
Abstract: Background Despite policy intention to reach disadvantaged populations, inequalities in health care resource use and health outcomes persist in Nepal. The current study aimed to investigate the trend of full vaccination coverage among infants and its equity gaps between Nepal Demographic and Health Surveys (NDHS) 2001 and 2016. Methods Using data from NDHS conducted in 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016, we investigated the trend of coverage of six antigens: Bacille Calmette Guerin (BCG), Diptheria, Pertussis, Tetanus (DPT), Polio, and Measles during their infancy among children aged 12–23?months. We presented trends and correlates of full vaccination coverage by different socio-demographic factors. We measured inequalities in full vaccination coverage by wealth quintile and maternal education using absolute measure (slope index of inequality) and relative measures (Relative index of inequality, concentration index) of inequalities. Results Full vaccination coverage among infants steadily increased from 65.6% in 2001 to 87.0% in 2011; however, it decreased to 77.8% in 2016. Province 2 had a significantly lower full vaccination coverage compared to Province1.Although decreasing over time, there were significant inequalities by household wealth quintiles and maternal educational status. The slope index of inequality (SII) for wealth quintiles decreased from -?32.3 [-?45.5,-19.1] in 2001 to an SII of-8.4 [-?18.6,-1.7] in 2016. Similarly, the SII for education decreased from -?61.8 [-?73.5,-50.1] in 2001 to an SII of -?30.5 [-?40.7,-20.2] in 2016. Similarly, the relative index of inequality (RII) also showed an improvement over time, indicating the narrowing equity gap. Additionally, concentration index on full vaccination coverage by wealth quintiles dropped from 0.21 (0.12–0.28) in 2001 to 0.054 (-?0.01–0.12) in 2016. Absolute and relative inequalities were persistently larger by maternal educational status compared to household wealth quintiles throughout the study period. Conclusion Full vaccination coverage in Nepal increased from 2001 until 2011 but saw a significant decrement away from the national target after 2011. However, the equity gap by household wealth quintile and maternal education status has narrowed over time. National Immunization programs need to give higher emphasis to infants born to mothers with less education, those born in the poorer wealth quintile households, and those living in Province 2.