Poliomyelitis (polio) is a communicable viral disease that mainly affects under-5 children. This study focuses on the impact of women’s empowerment and women’s working status on the uptake of polio vaccination of children in polio-endemic countries, including Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Nigeria, the latter of which has recently been declared polio-free. The polio vaccination status can be divided into no vaccination (NV), incomplete vaccination (IV), and complete vaccination. We used data from the most recent Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) rounds for this manuscript. Multinomial logistic regression-based estimates suggest that mothers’ working status, empowerment, age, education, father’s education, and household wealth status reduce the risk of NV and IV in the polio-endemic countries (Afghanistan and Pakistan) and Nigeria. In addition, the mothers’ working status, empowerment, age, education, and father’s education increase the child’s healthcare information that helps complete polio vaccination of the child. On the other hand, the children whose mothers work in the agriculture sector or are engaged in a blue-collar job are more likely to remain unvaccinated than women in white-collar jobs. Similarly, mothers engaged in government jobs are more likely to get their children fully vaccinated than unemployed mothers. Thus, as a child’s polio vaccination is strongly dependent on a mother’s working status and empowerment, the focus of public policy on empowering women and promoting their labor force participation may increase polio vaccination uptake, besides adopting other measures to increase immunization.
Address correspondence to Rafi Amir-Ud-Din, COMSATS University Islamabad, Lahore Campus, Park Rd., Islamabad 45550, Pakistan. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclosure: The Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) are publicly available on the DHS website upon registration. The data was coded in STATA16 software, and the code is available upon request. The questionnaires and procedures for DHS have been approved by the International Review Board (IRB). Informed consent was taken from the respondents and where the respondent was a minor, the consent was taken from the guardian/parent of the respondent.