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Bull World Health Organ. 1996; 74(3): 269–274.
PMCID: PMC2486926

Evaluation of immunization coverage by lot quality assurance sampling compared with 30-cluster sampling in a primary health centre in India.


The immunization coverage of infants, children and women residing in a primary health centre (PHC) area in Rajasthan was evaluated both by lot quality assurance sampling (LQAS) and by the 30-cluster sampling method recommended by WHO's Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI). The LQAS survey was used to classify 27 mutually exclusive subunits of the population, defined as residents in health subcentre areas, on the basis of acceptable or unacceptable levels of immunization coverage among infants and their mothers. The LQAS results from the 27 subcentres were also combined to obtain an overall estimate of coverage for the entire population of the primary health centre, and these results were compared with the EPI cluster survey results. The LQAS survey did not identify any subcentre with a level of immunization among infants high enough to be classified as acceptable; only three subcentres were classified as having acceptable levels of tetanus toxoid (TT) coverage among women. The estimated overall coverage in the PHC population from the combined LQAS results showed that a quarter of the infants were immunized appropriately for their ages and that 46% of their mothers had been adequately immunized with TT. Although the age groups and the periods of time during which the children were immunized differed for the LQAS and EPI survey populations, the characteristics of the mothers were largely similar. About 57% (95% CI, 46-67) of them were found to be fully immunized with TT by 30-cluster sampling, compared with 46% (95% CI, 41-51) by stratified random sampling. The difference was not statistically significant. The field work to collect LQAS data took about three times longer, and cost 60% more than the EPI survey. The apparently homogeneous and low level of immunization coverage in the 27 subcentres makes this an impractical situation in which to apply LQAS, and the results obtained were therefore not particularly useful. However, if LQAS had been applied by local staff in an area with overall high coverage and population subunits with heterogeneous coverage, the method would have been less costly and should have produced useful results.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Henderson RH, Sundaresan T. Cluster sampling to assess immunization coverage: a review of experience with a simplified sampling method. Bull World Health Organ. 1982;60(2):253–260. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Lemeshow S, Robinson D. Surveys to measure programme coverage and impact: a review of the methodology used by the expanded programme on immunization. World Health Stat Q. 1985;38(1):65–75. [PubMed]
  • Singh J, Sharma RS, Goel RK, Verghese T. Concurrent evaluation of immunization programme by Lot Quality Assurance Sampling. J Trop Pediatr. 1995 Aug;41(4):215–220. [PubMed]
  • Lanata CF, Stroh G, Jr, Black RE. Lot quality assurance sampling in health monitoring. Lancet. 1988 Jan 16;1(8577):122–123. [PubMed]

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