Towards a further understanding of measles vaccine hesitancy in Khartoum state, Sudan: A qualitative study

Majdi M. Sabahelzain*, Mohamed Moukhyer, Eve Dube, Ahmed Hardan, Bart van den Borne, Hans Bosma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review



Vaccine hesitancy is one of the contributors to low vaccination coverage in both developed and developing countries. Sudan is one of the countries that suffers from low measles vaccine coverage and from measles outbreaks. In order to facilitate the future development of interventions, this study aimed at exploring the opinions of Expanded Program on Immunization officers at ministries of health, WHO, UNICEF and vaccine care providers at Khartoum-based primary healthcare centers.


Qualitative data were collected using semi-structured interviews during the period January-March 2018. Data (i.e. quotes) were matched to the categories and the sub-categories of a framework that was developed by the WHO-SAGE Working Group called ''Determinants of Vaccine Hesitancy Matrix''.


The interviews were conducted with 14 participants. The majority of participants confirmed the existence of measles vaccine hesitancy in Khartoum state. They further identified various determinants that were grouped into three domains including contextual, groups and vaccination influences. The main contextual determinant as reported is the presence of people who can be qualified as "anti-vaccination". They mostly belong to particular religious and ethnic groups. Parents' beliefs about prevention and treatment from measles are the main determinants of the group influences. Attitude of the vaccine providers, measles vaccine schedule and its mode of delivery were the main vaccine related determinants.


Measles vaccine hesitancy in Sudan appears complex and highly specific to local circumstances. To better understand the magnitude and the context-specific causes of measles vaccine hesitancy and to develop adapted strategies to address them, there is clearly a further need to investigate measles vaccine hesitancy among parents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0213882
Number of pages13
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2019


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