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The association between area of residence and sufficient antenatal tetanus vaccination in women ages 15–49 in Afghanistan: an analysis of the 2015 DHS dataset
Authors: Jillian Sherley and Sam Newton
Source: Global Health Research and Policy, Volume 5, Article number: 51
Topic(s): Education
Rural-urban differentials
Country: Asia
Published: NOV 2020
Abstract: Background: Neonatal tetanus (NT) is a deadly nervous system disorder that is endemic to Afghanistan. Administering sufficient doses of tetanus toxoid containing vaccine (TTCV) during pregnancy can pass antibodies to the fetus and therefore prevent NT. Using survey data, we investigated the association between area of residence (urban or rural) and sufficient antenatal TTCV coverage among women aged 15–49 years in Afghanistan during their most recent pregnancy in the past 5 years that resulted in a live birth. Mother’s education level was also assessed as a potential effect modifier. Methods: Secondary analysis was performed on data from the 2015 Afghanistan Demographic and Health Survey (AfDHS). The 2015 AfDHS was a nationally representative survey with participants selected in a stratified two-stage sample design from urban and rural areas across Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. Data were analyzed on 19,737 women ages 15–49 that had a live birth in the 5 years preceding the survey. The relationship between area of residence and sufficient antenatal TTCV was assessed in a multivariable logistic regression model, adjusting for several confounding variables. Results: 55.1% (95% CI = 51.6–58.5%) of urban women and 53.9% (95% CI = 49.7–57.9%) of rural women had sufficient tetanus vaccination coverage in their most recent pregnancy. In multivariate analysis, there was strong evidence for greater odds of sufficient antenatal tetanus vaccination in rural areas (OR = 1.62; 95% CI = 1.18–2.24, p = 0.003). There was no effect modification on this association by mother’s education level. Conclusions: Women in rural areas of Afghanistan have greater odds of receiving sufficient antenatal tetanus vaccination than women in urban areas. Further study into factors contributing to this urban-rural disparity is needed. Targeted antenatal tetanus vaccination strategies for urban and rural women will be necessary as Afghanistan continues to work towards NT eradication.