Effect of an immunisation campaign in Natal and KwaZulu on vaccination coverage rates 1990-1991.
In 1990 the Department of National Health and Population Development of South Africa launched a nationwide immunisation coverage campaign targetted mainly at measles. In order to measure the effect of the campaign on vaccination coverage rates for children pre- and post- campaign vaccination coverage surveys were performed using a modified EPI technique, stratified for race and urban/rural residence. The results in Natal/KwaZulu showed no significant changes in vaccination coverage rates as documented by Road-to-Health cards for any race, although the trend was towards a slight increase. The results bring into question the effectiveness of immunisation campaigns as a strategy for raising vaccination coverage levels, and having a sustained impact on the incidence of measles. Alternative strategies, such as the strengthening and expansion of existing primary health care services, and changes to the immunisation schedule for measles, should be considered.