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Bafoussam, Cameroon

Ateudjieu J.,University of Dschang | Ateudjieu J.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute | Kenfack B.,University of Dschang | Nkontchou B.W.,Public Health Laboratory Unit | Demanou M.,Center Pasteur Cameroon
BMC Research Notes | Year: 2013

Background: Cold chain monitoring is a precondition to ensure immunization quality, efficacy and safety. In Cameroon, the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) has National Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that describes the vaccines, the cold chain system and equipment, its use and recommended procedures to control and monitor the temperatures and the cold chain. This study was conducted to assess the status of cold chain in eight health districts in Cameroon. Findings. The study was carried out in eight health districts out of fifty with poor immunization coverage rate. Data were collected using a validated form by observation and consultation of related documents. District Health Services (DHS) and four Integrated. Health Centers (IHC) randomly selected were targeted per health district. Forty health facilities were included. Twenty eight (70.0%) had at least one functional refrigerator for EPI activities. The power supply was reported to be permanent in 7 (20.6%) out of 34. (85.0%) health facilities with access to power supply. The temperature monitoring chart was pasted on 27 (96.4%) of the cold chain equipment. On 16 (59.3%) of these charts, the temperature was recorded twice daily as recommended. Seven (25.9%) of 27 refrigerators assessed had temperature out of the recommended range of 2 to 8°C. Almost 23.30% of health centers did not received any supervision on cold chain monitoring during a vaccination campaign. Conclusion: This study documents failure of the cold chain maintenance and questions the efficacy and safety of vaccines administered during EPI activities in Cameroun. These findings indicate that appropriate actions are needed to ensure monitoring of EPI cold chain in the country. © 2013 Ateudjieu et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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