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Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2014 Jan-Feb;36(1):105-12. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2013.09.005. Epub 2013 Oct 18.

Introducing depression and developmental screenings into the national programme on immunization (NPI) in southeast Nigeria: an experimental cross-sectional assessment.

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Childhood Neuropsychiatric Disorders Initiatives (CNDI), Premier Layout, Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria; Child and Adolescent Unit, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, New Haven, Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria. Electronic address:
Department of Psychological Medicine Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria. Electronic address:
Department of Psychiatry, University of Jos/Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. Electronic address:



This study investigates the possibility of introducing depression and developmental screening tools into the National Programme on Immunization (NPI) in southeast Nigeria. The specific objectives were to determine the prevalence of postpartum depression (PPD) among mothers attending immunization clinics and to assess the association of maternal PPD and infant growth in relation to World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations.


Four hundred and eight (408) mothers completed the sociodemographic questionnaire and the self-report Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). The weights, lengths and head circumferences of their infants were recorded, while the WHO recommended equivalents at 50th percentiles were also recorded for each child. The mothers were then interviewed with the major depressive episode module of Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (M.I.N.I.) to make diagnosis of depression.


About 24.8% and 15.2% of the mothers were found to be depressed using EPDS and major depressive episode module of M.I.N.I., respectively. It was found that maternal PPD is significantly associated with the growth parameters of weights and lengths of the infants studied but not their head circumference.


NPI may provide appropriate forum for early screening of mothers for PPD and interventions in Nigeria. The NPI would also serve a useful avenue of screening for developmental concerns in Nigerian children.


Immunization; Infants' growth; Postpartum depression; Screening

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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