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Bull World Health Organ. 1996; 74(5): 517–524.
PMCID: PMC2486871

Maximizing immunization coverage through home visits: a controlled trial in an urban area of Ghana.


A strategy of home visits to maximize children's immunization coverage was implemented in three towns in Ghana. The strategy was tested in town 1 in a controlled trial where clusters of children were allocated to the intervention and control groups. A total of 200 mothers in the intervention group were visited at home by non-health workers and their children were referred to a routine under-fives' clinic. Subsequent home visits targeted at those who failed to complete immunization schedules were made by nurses. After 6 months, coverage had risen from 60% to 85%, which was 20% higher than in the town 1 control group of 219 age-matched children (P < 0.005). A similar home-visiting strategy in a neighbouring town resulted in a rise in coverage from 38% to 91% (n = 55), mainly through home immunizations. Children were more likely to complete the schedule if their fathers were interviewed and participated in the decision to send them to the clinic. Countries with national service programmes can use a home-visiting strategy to supplement and strengthen their routine immunization programmes. A wide range of other community-based primary health care interventions could also be tested and implemented using this methodology.

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Selected References

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