Public Defence: Afiong Oku

MD Afiong Oku at Institute of Health and Society will be defending the thesis “Childhood Vaccination Communication in Nigeria: A qualitative study” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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Foto: Paul Ekpenyong

Trial Lecture – time and place

See Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Senior Professor Vinod Diwan, Karolinska Institutet
  • Second opponent: Professor Sølvi Helseth, OsloMet
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Senior Consultant Preben Aavitsland, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Researcher Arne Fetveit, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Professor II Atle Fretheim, University of Oslo


Good communication about vaccination is key to increasing children’s vaccine uptake. However, governments rarely give communication strategies sufficient attention or design them systematically. Using qualitative approaches, this thesis provides insight into how vaccination information is being communicated in Nigeria and identifies factors affecting the implementation of communication strategies. The thesis shows that most vaccination communication strategies aimed to inform and educate parents and to remind and recall them about appointments. However, common health system barriers to implementation included funding and human resources constraints, inadequate equipment and weak political will. Political support, engagement of traditional and religious institutions and the use of organized communication committees appeared to facilitate communication activities. Barriers identified by parents were clinic-related while health workers reported poor interpersonal communication skills, poor

motivation, and the attitudes of community members. Effective vaccination communication will require addressing the barriers that currently hamper the implementation of evidence informed strategies.

Additional information

Contact the research support staff.

Published Sep. 12, 2019 2:23 PM - Last modified Sep. 12, 2019 2:23 PM