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Female literacy and Immunization Uptake: A Macro Level Evidence from Ghana

Micheal Kofi Boachie, Pauline Sobiesuo.

Background: Immunization has been one of the focal healthcare interventions against major childhood killer diseases, especially infectious ones. It has emerged as an important component of preventive medicine in most countries for the prevention and possible eradication of vaccine preventable-diseases (VPDs). This study aimed to estimate the impact of female literacy on immunization uptake against measles in Ghana.
Methods: We used annual data set covering the period 1990 -2013 and ordinary least squares (OLS) regression to examine the impact of female literacy on immunisation uptake.
Results: Factors such as female education (β=0.761, P=0.006), place of residence, i.e. urban (β=4.174, P=0.000) and rural (β=5.69, P=0.001), availability of skilled health personnel (β=0.034, P=0.062), and female labour force participation rate (β=0.776, P=0.198) were specified as determinants of immunisation uptake, proxied by percentage of children immunised against measles. Adjusted R-Squared was 0.944.
Conclusion: There is strong evidence that female literacy does improve immunization uptake levels. The results further suggest that both urban and rural dwellers have significantly utilised immunisation services for measles during the study period. Policy should therefore gear towards expanding access to education among females to sustain improvement in child health through preventive health services.

Key words: Female literacy; Immunization; Child health; Ghana; Preventive health

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