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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 127-130

Acceptance of mobile phone short message service for childhood immunisation reminders by Nigerian mothers

1 Department of Paediatrics, Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria
2 Department of Paediatrics, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Kelechi Kenneth Odinaka
Department of Paediatrics, Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Imo State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/phmj.phmj_42_17

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Background: Missed immunisation appointments are a common occurrence among Nigerian children, and it is due largely to forgetfulness on the part of the parents/caregivers. Although the use of mobile phones is widely available to Nigerian mothers, the readiness of Nigerian mothers to accept a mobile phone short message service (SMS) for interacting with immunisation providers, specifically, for tracking immunisations appointments, notifying absence of vaccines and accessing other vaccine information remains uncertain. Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the acceptance of mobile phone text messaging for childhood immunisation reminders by Nigerian mothers as well as its determinants. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study carried out over 3 months (June–August 2017) at the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Nigeria. Results: A total of 253 mothers were interviewed. About 27% of the mothers reported to have missed their babies' immunisation appointments in the past. Mothers who are currently married (χ2 = 5.954, P = 0.015) and those with higher levels of education (χ2 = 13.001, P = 0.005) were significantly less likely to forget their child's immunisation dates. Majority (75.9%) believe that reminders will reduce missed immunisation appointments. A greater proportion (61.7%) of the mothers would accept a phone reminder for their babies' immunisation appointments. Many (76.9%) of them were willing to pay for such services. Conclusion: Forgetfulness is one of the major reasons for missed immunisation appointments among mothers in Nigeria. Considering the acceptance of SMS by the majority of the mothers studied, there is no doubt that its adoption in Nigeria will create a positive impact in improving immunisation of children in Nigeria.

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