The acceptability of immunisation in Somalia: What role does the community play in designing programme strategies?

As part of the global drive to achieve Universal Child Immunisation by l990 (UCI9O), Somalia launched a national immunisation programme for women and children. While access to it improved, actual demand for immunisation remained low. This paper reports the findings of a study to identify the factors influencing acceptance of immunisation in two Somali communities. A retrospective, qualitative approach was adopted to assess individual and community experience both with immunisation and with the immunisation programme. Data were derived from focus group discussions, informal interviews and observation. The research findings provided programme managers and health workers with information for redesigning both the overall approach of the immunisation programme; and the content and style of health messages.