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Evaluation of Oral Poliovaccine (OPV) Delivery during 1996 National Immunization Days (NID), Riyadh Region, Saudi Arabia.


Saudi Arabia completed two National Immunization Days (NIDs) during years 1995 and 1996. In 1995, the first round was given in October and the second in December. The first round in 1996 was given on November 9 and the second December 7. NIDs are one of four strategies to achieve poliomyelitis eradication recommended by the World Health Organization. We evaluated delivery of oral poliovaccine (OPV) during the 1996 NIDs in Riyadh region, Saudi Arabia.


We randomly selected 40 clusters, proportionate to the number of children under five years of age, from Riyadh region. We asked parents in face to face interviews whether or not the child had received OPV during the NIDs of the years 1995 and 1996.


During the 1996 NID, 305 children (93.8%; 95% CI: 91-96) received at least one dose during the two rounds of the 1996 NID; 270 children (83%; 95% CI: 79%-86%) received two doses of OPV. Mobile vaccination teams that paid door-to-door house visits administered 383 OPV doses (67%), 146 doses (25.4%) were given by private hospitals, 35 doses (6.1%) were given by polyclinics, and governmental hospitals administered 10 doses (1.8%). Parents heard about the NID mainly through national television broadcasting (240, 73.8%). Parents stated that reasons for failure to vaccinate children were because they were busy (28%), or the vaccination team did not visit their houses (25.3%).


NIDs conducted in Riyadh region fulfilled the criteria set by the WHO for a maximally effective NID. The role of hospitals during the second NID in Riyadh region was negligible. Involving mosques, schools, volunteers and advertising on the backs of electrical and telephone bills of future NIDs would help to increase public awareness of NIDs.