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Bull World Health Organ. 1999; 77(7): 602–606.
PMCID: PMC2557701

Awareness about a national immunization day programme in the Sunsari district of Nepal.

Abstract

The initiative to eradicate poliomyelitis globally by the year 2000 was launched at the Forty-first World Health Assembly in May 1988, when all WHO Member States were challenged to help eradicate poliomyelitis from the world, a gift to the children of the twenty-first century. In Nepal, 100-250 children per year become disabled due to poliomyelitis. The government of Nepal is determined to eradicate the disease from the country by the year 2000 through the National Immunization Day (NID) Programme. Since 1996, about 3.3 million children under 5 years of age have been immunized each year in Nepal. In the present study, we analysed the impact of the campaign in the Sunsari district of Nepal. The study was carried out during the first NID (6 December 1996) to evaluate the local population's awareness of the programme and the impact of the media on such awareness. A total of 843 respondents were interviewed, 39% of whom were illiterate. Two important aspects of the mass campaign (whether a child previously immunized should be immunized again in the NID, and whether children should be brought to the next NID) were clearly understood by the majority of the people (93.1% and 98.8% of the respondents, respectively), although only a small proportion (24.4%) of individuals understood the purpose of the programme. Radio was the single most effective means of providing information, education, and communication about NIDs. The encouraging response, especially from a poor, illiterate rural population, augurs well for the goal of eradicating poliomyelitis from the world.

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