Original Research

Challenges faced by professional nurses when implementing the Expanded Programme on Immunisation at rural clinics in Capricorn District, Limpopo

Tebogo M. Mothiba, Flora M. Tladi
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 8, No 2 | a923 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v8i2.923 | © 2016 Tebogo M. Mothiba, Flora M. Tladi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 July 2015 | Published: 13 May 2016

About the author(s)

Tebogo M. Mothiba, Department of Nursing Science, University of Limpopo, South Africa
Flora M. Tladi, Department of Nursing Science, University of Limpopo, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Immunisation is the cornerstone of primary healthcare. Apart from the provision of safe water, immunisation remains the most cost-effective public health intervention currently available. Immunisation prevents infectious conditions that are debilitating, fatal and have the potential to cause huge public health burdens, both financially and socially, in South Africa.

Aim: To determine the challenges faced by professional nurses when implementing the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) at rural clinics in Capricorn District, Limpopo Province, South Africa.

Setting: The study was conducted in selected primary healthcare clinics of Capricorn District, Limpopo Province.

Methods: A qualitative explorative descriptive contextual research design was used to gather data related to the challenges faced by professional nurses when implementing EPI at rural clinics in Capricorn District.

Results: The findings revealed that professional nurses had knowledge of the programme, but that they experienced several challenges during implementation of EPI that included staff shortages and problems related to maintenance of the vaccines’ potency.

Conclusions: The Department of Health as well as the nursing administration should monitor policies and guidelines, and especially maintenance of a cold chain for vaccines, to ensure that they are practised throughout Limpopo Province. The problem of staff shortages also needs to be addressed so that the EPI can achieve its targeted objectives.

Keywords: Professional nurse, knowledge, EPI-SA, immunisation


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