Awareness and Practice of Pre-travel Vaccination among International Travelers Departing from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Community Medicine, LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, Nigeria

2 Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia



Introduction: International travelers are exposed to health risks and may transmit infections before, during, or after travel. Travelers are expected to take vaccinations prior to travel. The current study assessed the factors associated with the practice of pre-travel vaccination among travelers departing through Addis Ababa Bole International Airport after their stay in Ethiopia.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 670 international travelers. A multistage sampling technique was used to ensure the representativeness of travel destinations. Awareness and practice of pre-travel vaccination were assessed using a self-administered questionnaire distributed at the departure lounges of the airport. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify significant factors (at P < 0.05) associated with pre-travel vaccination status. Median age was reported with its interquartile range (IQR).
Results: A total of 639 questionnaires were analyzed given a response rate of 95.4%. The median age of participants was 34 years (IQR 28-41). Five hundred and eighty travelers (90.8%) were aware of pre-travel vaccinations, 531 (83.1%) took vaccinations, and 185 (29.0%) had their vaccination cards checked upon arrival in Ethiopia. The vaccination rate of the three recommended vaccines for all travelers were yellow fever (72.5%); diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus (DPT) (21.4%); and influenza (10.8%). Age, marital status, religion, and having vaccination cards checked on previous trips were associated with vaccination status at P values of 0.047, 0.035, <0.001, and 0.002, respectively.
Conclusion: The uptake of recommended vaccinations for all travelers, especially DPT and influenza was low. It is pertinent for border health staff to scale up vaccination card inspection at points of entry.