Improving the timeliness and completeness of childhood vaccination through color-coded bracelets: a pilot study among Fulani tribe populations in Nigeria

Submitted: 6 November 2021
Accepted: 3 July 2022
Published: 3 May 2023
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Background. Childhood immunization remains one of the most cost-effective public health interventions. Globally, millions of children are not being reached with safe and effective vaccines and Nigeria has the highest number of unprotected children. Objective. The effects of locally adapted interventions on vaccination timeliness and completeness were studied amongst Fulani populations across 6 health facilities in 2 districts of Bauchi State, Nigeria. Methods. The intervention group consisted of newborns who received 5-color-coded bracelets representing different immunization contacts, while the control group had no bracelets. Vaccination rates across contacts were followed for 11 months. In addition, mothers of children in the intervention group were voluntarily recruited as peer-to-peer mobilizers (PPM). Results. In this study, 435 children were studied. Vaccination completeness was higher in the intervention group compared to the control group at all contacts during follow-up. The difference was most noticeable at the fifth contact, with 158/256 (62%) children in the intervention group completing, compared to 73/179 (41%) in the control group (P<0.0001). Vaccination timeliness was better in the intervention group compared to the control one, which reached statistical significance at the second and third vaccination contacts (P<0.05). 68% of women volunteered as PPM and recruited 82 additional children for vaccination. Conclusion. This study demonstrated the feasibility of a composite intervention (bracelets and PPM) to increase the completeness and timeliness of childhood immunization and provided preliminary evidence for its efficacy among Fulani populations in Nigeria. Findings from this pilot study should be confirmed through a larger cluster randomized controlled trial.

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Olaf Müller , Institute of Global Health, Medical School, Ruprecht-Karls-University, Heidelberg

Prof Olaf is the head of disease control in disadvantaged populations group at the institute of global health , univeristy of Heidelberg, Germany and supervises the lead author as a doctoral student under the group.

Supporting Agencies

Institute of Global Health, Medical School, Ruprecht-Karls-University, Heidelberg, Germany., National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Bill Melinda and Gates Foundation (BMGF)

Yau, I. B., Zubair Mustapha, M., Nwaze, E., Nobila, O., Maigoro, A., Abdullah, A., Gamawa, A., Meissner, P., Albrecht, J., & Müller , O. (2023). Improving the timeliness and completeness of childhood vaccination through color-coded bracelets: a pilot study among Fulani tribe populations in Nigeria. Journal of Public Health in Africa, 14(5).


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