Childhood vaccination in sub-Saharan Africa

First of all, if you are in Kampala and interested in health, don’t miss the health journalism conference hosted by the Health Journalists Network in Uganda taking place today at Hotel Africana. Follow HEJNU on twitter for live updates here.

Since I am very far from Kampala, I have been spending time with health data instead. Today I was looking at immunization rates over time in sub-Saharan African countries. The colorful fruits of my labor, looking at measles, polio, and BCG (TB) are below. Each colored line represents a country:


Polio (three shots):



What can we make of these graphs? Well, it looks like measles vaccination rates tend to get “stuck” somewhere around 80% of coverage. Meanwhile, BCG coverage rates hit near 100% by the late 1980s in many countries. Polio has less clear patterns. Why is this? Is it a data problem? I’m not sure, but I’d like to find out.

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