The acceptability of childhood immunization to Togolese mothers: a sociobehavioral perspective

Health Educ Q. 1991 Spring;18(1):97-110. doi: 10.1177/109019819101800110.


A study was conducted in Togo to investigate the lack of acceptance of childhood immunization from a social science perspective. In each village focus group interviews were conducted with approximately 12 mothers to discuss their beliefs and knowledge, social and cultural norms and practices, and experiences with health services that hinder or promote the acceptability of childhood immunization. The problem of failure to complete the immunization series was explained in terms of mothers' lack of knowledge of when to return or their forgetfulness rather than inadequate knowledge about the importance of returning. Other barriers included the requirement to keep and present a vaccination card, waiting time at the clinic, lack of information about available services, and laziness. Rather than endorsing strategies that target individuals, mothers suggested increasing the level of social control exerted by decision makers in their communities (the village chief could direct the town crier to announce the passing of each week to help parents keep track of time between immunizations) and increasing the level of social support by having a meeting to support the importance of completing the vaccination series and to organize mothers who go to the clinic to inform others in their neighborhoods about vaccination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Immunization Schedule
  • Maternal Behavior*
  • Preventive Health Services* / economics
  • Social Behavior
  • Togo
  • Vaccination*