Knowledge, Attitudes and Acceptancy of Maternal Immunization in South Africa: Perspectives from Pregnant Mothers and Healthcare Providers.

Motlatso Rampedi-Godongwana, Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit (RMPRU); University of the Witwatersrand
Dr Nellie Myburg, Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit (RMPRU)
Dr Clare Cutland, Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit (RMPRU)
Nomasonto Radebe, Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit (RMPRU)
Sunday Adedini, University of the Witwatersrand

Maternal immunization has prevented millions of child deaths globally; nevertheless incomplete vaccination remains a public health concern in South Africa, where almost half of child deaths occur during neonatal period. This study explored the knowledge and attitudes inhibiting vaccine acceptancy during pregnancy. Key informant and semi-structured interviews were conducted with pregnant women receiving antenatal care at community clinics, antenatal staff, women enrolled in maternal immunization trials and non-pregnant women residing in Soweto. FGDs were also held with church and community leaders. The study established a positive attitude and high acceptability of maternal immunization. However, there is poor knowledge regarding the health benefits and types of vaccinations administered. Reasons adduced for poor knowledge about vaccination include lack of communication on maternal immunization during antenatal sessions or clinic visits and power dynamics that tend to exist between healthcare workers and patients. Ensuring that healthcare workers provide useful information regarding benefit of vaccination may increase patients’ confidence and immunization uptake.

See paper.

  Presented in Session 125. Maternal Newborn and Child Health