Persistent Socioeconomic Inequalities in Measles Vaccine Uptake in Ethiopia in the Period 2005 to 2016



This study aims to quantify socioeconomic inequalities—and the factors contributing to these inequalities—in measles vaccine uptake among children aged 12 to 23 months in Ethiopia between 2005 and 2016.


Inequalities in measles vaccine uptake were investigated based on data from the Ethiopian Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in 2005, 2011, and 2016. Concentration curves and concentration indices were used to measure the degree of inequality, and decomposition analysis was used to identify factors contributing to these inequalities.


The overall level of national measles vaccine uptake in Ethiopia exhibited an increasing trend between 2005 and 2016. As indicated by the concentration index of measles vaccine uptake, however, which was estimated at 0.202 (P .01) in 2016, measles vaccine uptake became consistently more concentrated among children from more affluent households. The dominance test of the concentration curve further confirmed the persistence of inequalities in measles vaccine uptake over time. Various factors—including maternal educational level, antenatal care use, institutional delivery, and exposure to media—were identified as the most important contributors to the inequalities.


Although the national measles vaccine uptake showed improvement between 2005 and 2016, socioeconomic inequalities in the uptake persisted over time. Efforts to improve the national immunization coverage should be accompanied by appropriate measures to address the inequalities.


Abrham Wondimu Marinus van Hulst Maarten J. Postma

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