BACKGROUND: Despite decent progress in Children Full Immunisation (CFI) in India during the last decade, surprisingly, Gujarat, an economically more developed state, had the second-lowest coverage of CFI (50%) in the country, lower than economically less developed states such as Bihar (62%). Further, the proportion of children with no immunisation in Gujarat has risen from 5% in 2005 to 9% in 2016. This paper investigated factors associated with the low level of CFI coverage in Gujarat.
METHODS: The study used two types of datasets: (1) the information on immunisation from 7730 children aged 12-23 months and their mothers from the fourth round of the Gujarat chapter of National Family Health Survey (NFHS 2015-16). (2) A macro (district) level data on both supply and demand-side factors of CFI are compiled from multiple sources. Bivariate and multivariate linear and logistic regression techniques were employed to identify the factors associated with CFI coverage.
RESULTS: In Gujarat, during 2015-2016, 50% of children aged 12-23 months did not receive full immunisation. The odds of receiving CFI was higher among children whose mothers had a Maternal and Child Protection (MCP) card (OR: 1.97, 95% CI 1.48-2.60) and those who received "high" maternal health services utilisation (OR: 1.59, 95% CI 1.10-2.26) compared to their counterparts. The odds of receiving CFI was about three times higher among the richest households (OR: 6.50, 95% CI 3.75-11.55) compared to their counterparts in the poorer households. Macro-level analyses suggest that poverty, maternal health care, and higher-order births are defining factors of CFI coverage in Gujarat.
CONCLUSIONS: In order of importance, focusing on poverty, economic inequalities, pregnancy registration, and maternal health care services utilisation are likely to improve receiving CFI uptake in Gujarat. The disadvantageous position of urban areas and non-scheduled tribes in CFI coverage needs further investigation.