BARRIERS TO UTILIZATION OF IMMUNIZATION SERVICES AMONG MIGRANT WOMEN IN LAHORE
Keywords:Childhood diseases, Child health care utilization, Immunization, Pakistan, Migrant women.
Pakistan has one of the lowest immunization rate in South Asia, thus making it a public health concern. The rate of incomplete immunization poses a challenge for the already frail health system of Pakistan as it may lead to further burden on the economy, health care and the poor and vulnerable population that may have to deal with the burden of diseases in later years. 20 indepth interviews were conducted in Lahore to understand the socio-cultural barriers faced by young migrant mothers with children under 5 years of age in Utilization of Immunization services. This study aimed to understand their experiences with the health care system, sources of information regarding vaccination, and how the decision to get their children vaccinated or not in their households. Findings of the study revealed the barriers faced by low-income, young migrant women are similar to those faced by other non-migrant women. These mainly include challenges related to accessing healthcare system. However, migration status was found to influence perceptions about and trust in healthcare system and healthcare providers, as well as determine prevalence of specific cultural perceptions and misconceptions regarding vaccination of children.