Analysis On The Knowledge, Attitude And Practice Regarding Immunization Of Under-Five Children Among Mothers Attending Antenatal Clinic (Anc) At Madonna University Teaching Hospital In Elele, Rivers State

Filed in Articles by on November 11, 2022


Immunization is a modern miracle, it has saved millions of lives worldwide and its origin dates back ancient Greece.

In the 14th century the Chinese discovered and used a primitive form of vaccination called variolation. The aim was to prevent small pox by exposing healthy people to tissue from the scabs caused by the disease this is the first recorded attempt at vaccination.

The British physician Dr. Edward Jenner in 1796 discovered vaccination in its modern form and proved to the scientific community that it worked.

He was considered the founder of vaccinology in the west after he inoculated a 13year old boy with vaccine of a virus (cow pox) and demonstrated immunity to small pox. By 1798, the first small pox vaccine was developed.

Immunization is the most effective method of preventing infectious diseases. Widespread immunity due to vaccination is largely responsible for the worldwide eradication of smallpox and the restrictions of disease such as polio, measles and tetanus.

Generally immunization involves stimulating immune responses with infectious agents, i.e. priming the immune system with an immunogen with the intention of creating specific resistance to an infectious disease. Simply put, a process by which an individual’s immune system becomes fortified against an agent.

Immunization is done through various techniques, most commonly vaccination and is definitely less risky and an easier way of being immune to a particular disease than risking a milder form of the disease itself. They are important for both adult and children because of the protection it confers. Immunization not only confers immunity but helps in developing child’s immune system. Immunization could be passive or active.

Active immunization can occur naturally or artificially. Naturally occurring active immunization is when a person comes in contact with an organism.

The immune system essentially creates antibodies against the microbe, making it more efficient in the next exposure. Artificially active immunization is where the microbe or part of it are injected into the person before they are able to take it naturally.

Passive immunization is where pre synthesized elements of the immune system are transferred to a person so that the body does not need these elements itself. It can occur physiologically, transferred from mother to foetus during pregnancy.

Passive immunity can also be artificial and it’s administered by injection especially if a recent outbreak of a disease has occurred.

Immunization can prevent infectious diseases in an individual, restrict the spread of diseases and may ultimately eradicate the disease in the community. It represents the remarkably successful and cost effective means of reducing infectious diseases and thereby decreasing the morbidity and mortality in infants and children.

According to an estimation made by WHO, vaccination annually prevents 2-3 million deaths of children from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and measles, a million alone due to measles vaccination in particular. It is believed that an additional 1.5 million deaths will be avoided if global vaccination coverage improves.


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