Objectives The study investigated the knowledge of nursing mothers about vaccine preventable diseases, their causes and the benefits of childhood vaccination.
Methods 69 nursing mothers aged 21–50 years who had completed secondary education or more responded to a self-administered questionnaire. They were to identify six diseases usually prevented by routine childhood immunization from a list of 15 widely known diseases of childhood. They were also to match appropriate disease with its specific cause from a list of causes provided, and indicate the benefits of childhood vaccination.
Results So far 78.57% of mothers have identified poliomyelitis as a disease preventable by routine childhood immunisation, and 85.71% knew its causative organism. Tetanus was identified by only 5.7% of respondents. About 14% chose witchcraft as a cause of infectious disease in children, while about the same percentage did not agree that vaccination was the best prevention against them.
Conclusion Majority of women in this study were only familiar with poliomyelitis as a disease preventable by routine childhood immunisation, also knowing its causative agent. More should be done to provide education about specific vaccine preventable diseases and the benefits of childhood vaccination to women before and after delivery.