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Immunization rates among disabled children in Ecuador: Unanticipated findings

GROCE, Nora
AYORA, Paolo
KAPLAN, Lawrence
August 2007

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Researchers hypothesize that impoverished parents in developing countries may forego provision of healthcare for disabled children, instead allocating scarce resources to nondisabled children or other household needs. We compared the immunization rates of 32 children with complex special heathcare needs with those of 95 nondisabled siblings in coastal Ecuador. Almost 100% (31 of 32) of the disabled children studied were immunized at a rate comparable with their nondisabled siblings. We propose that this finding is attributable to an effective national immunization program and to positive local sociocultural attitudes toward disability. These findings underscore the need for more research on disability across cultures.

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