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university of tampere: faculty of social sciences: research: research groups: epidemiology:
Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of TampereFaculty of Social Sciences

Mark Rohit Francis. MSc.

Collaborators: Christian Medical College, Vellore, India and The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom

PARENTAL FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH SUBOPTIMAL ROUTINE CHILDHOOD VACCINATION IN INDIA

Globally about one-third of the annual vaccine preventable child deaths or 500,000 deaths occur in India. While most vaccine preventable deaths in India are due to pneumonia and diarrhea, complete immunization with existing routine vaccines against tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus, polio, measles, hepatitis B and H. influenzae type b are essential to avert the associated mortality, morbidity and to prevent future outbreaks of these vaccine preventable diseases. However, despite almost three decades of the Universal Immunization Program (UIP) in India, the proportion of children receiving the full schedule of vaccinations is around 61% and for third dose DPT (DPT3) coverage is 72%, still below the global average of 86%. The persisting low routine immunization coverage implies that one in three children born every year still do not receive complete protection against the diseases currently covered by the UIP, placing them at the highest risk of mortality and morbidity.

As the Indian Government aims to boost full immunization coverage of UIP vaccines through the Mission Indradhanush initative by 2020, this PhD dissertation uses multiple research approaches and methods to examine the parental factors associated with incomplete or delayed routine childhood vaccination. The dissertation involves primary data collection in southern India and analyses of existing Demographic and Health Survey data from India. The findings of the research are expected to identify important sub-groups of parents with poorly vaccinated children for targeted intervention and aid prioritization of available resource and strategies to reduce India’s immunization coverage gap “one family at a time”. The project based at the University of Tampere, Finland, involves collaboration with the Wellcome Trust Research Laboratory at Christian Medical College, southern India (http://cmcwtrl.in/) and the Vaccine Confidence Project of the London School of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene (http://www.vaccineconfidence.org/).

 
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