Vaccine inequalities, hesitancy, and media-focused public health interventions in English-speaking West-African Countries

Abideen David Amodu 1, *Chukwuemeka Oluebube Ochuba 2, Ibrahim Temitope Badirudeen 1 and Kingsley Okwuruoha Ikeokwu 1

1 Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria.
2 Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria.
Review Article
World Journal of Advanced Research and Reviews, 2024, 23(01), 273–283
Article DOI: 10.30574/wjarr.2024.23.1.1944
Publication history: 
Received on 17 May 2024; revised on 02 July 2024; accepted on 04 July 2024
Background: Vaccine hesitancy poses a significant challenge to public health efforts in English-speaking West-African countries amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aims to examine the multifaceted factors contributing to vaccine hesitancy in the region, including issues of trust, misinformation, cultural beliefs, and access barriers.
Methods: This study reviewed data from three African countries, Nigeria, Ghana, and the Gambia, to analyze attitudes towards vaccination. It also assessed variations in attitudes across these countries and compared them with attitudes in the western world. Qualitative and quantitative methods were employed to gather and analyze data on vaccine hesitancy and related factors.
Results: The study found substantial variation in attitudes towards vaccination across the surveyed countries and compared to the western world. Factors contributing to vaccine hesitancy included historical injustices, misinformation, cultural beliefs, and access barriers such as limited healthcare infrastructure and vaccine supply constraints. Media-focused public health interventions were identified as crucial in addressing vaccine inequalities and enhancing vaccine acceptance.
Conclusion: Overcoming vaccine hesitancy in West Africa requires tailored approaches that acknowledge and address historical injustices and inequities, emphasize culturally appropriate messaging, and utilize existing community infrastructure to deliver accurate information. Targeted communication strategies are essential to combat misinformation and enhance vaccine acceptance. By analyzing the intersection of vaccine hesitancy, media interventions, and public health challenges, this study underscores the need for comprehensive and community-engaged campaigns to promote vaccination and combat the spread of COVID-19 in West Africa.
Africa; COVID-19; Ghana; Hesitancy; Nigeria; Public Health; The Gambia; Vaccine
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