Understanding Spatial and Contextual Factors Influencing Intraregional Differences in Child Vaccination Coverage in Bangladesh
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In Bangladesh, policy discourse has mostly focused on regional inequities in health, including child immunization coverage. Knowledge of local geographical and contextual factors within regions, however, becomes pertinent in efforts to address these inequities. We used the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2011 to examine factors that influence intraregional differences in vaccination coverage using a multilevel analysis. We found that in spite of the provision of health facilities at each level of administrative governance, only distance to the Upazilla Health Complex was a consistent predictor for each dose of vaccine, highlighting the remote locations of the communities that remain underserved. Our analysis demonstrates the value of subregional analyses that identify the characteristics of communities that are vulnerable to incomplete immunization coverage. Unless specific policy actions are taken to increase coverage in these remote areas, geographic inequities are likely to persist within regions, and desired targets will not be achieved.
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