Vaccine indicator and reminder band to improve demand for vaccination in Northern Nigeria: A qualitative evaluation of implementation outcomes

Chisom Obi-Jeff, Noor Sabah Rakhshani, Jamila Ibiye Bello-Malabu, Chike Nwangwu, Ebubechi Nwaononiwu, Ejemai Eboreime, Chizoba Wonodi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Vaccination coverage is low in Nigeria, partly due to poor demand for the vaccines. Till date, there is limited understanding of what works to improve demand for vaccination. A Vaccine Indicator and Reminder (VIR) band was designed to be worn on a child's ankle to serve as a constant reminder to parents/caregivers on when to bring their children for vaccinations. This study assessed the acceptability of the band as a wearable reminder for infant vaccination in Kebbi State, Nigeria. Methods: A total of 503 infants who met the eligibility criteria were enrolled between August 2017 and February 2018. The intervention involved 1) sensitisation and mobilisation of community gatekeepers to advocate for immunisation; 2) engaging traditional birth attendants (TBAs) to refer mothers for vaccination and VIR bands; and 3) training facility-based health workers to secure the band on an eligible child. Focus group discussions and in-depth interviews were conducted at baseline (May 2016) and end-line (July 2018) with purposively selected participants. These interviews were analysed thematically. Results: There was general acceptability of the band at all levels, especially among community members who likened it to a “wristwatch” that constantly reminds mothers when next to vaccinate their children. The strong support from community leaders, TBAs and participating health workers increased acceptability of the band. Similarly, the VIR band's aesthetics, ease of use and perceived benefits contributed to its acceptability. Wearing the VIR band was not perceived as an impediment because similar accessories are worn on new-borns. However, there were concerns about wearing accessories on the ankle, the red indicator colour, and the malfunctioning of some bands. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that cultural adaptability of interventions and engagement with community structures are important in facilitating acceptability of new innovations. Further studies will evaluate the effectiveness of VIR band in improving vaccination coverage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4191-4199
Number of pages9
Issue number26
StatePublished - May 27 2020


  • Acceptability
  • Implementation research
  • Nigeria
  • Qualitative study
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccine reminders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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