Background: Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common cause of physical disability in
childhood, with an estimated 17 million cases worldwide. There is limited data concerning the
general health of this population and the immunisation status of children with CP is largely unknown.
Objective: We aimed to assess the immunisation status of children with CP in rural Bangladesh
and determine the predictors of non-immunisation.
Methods: This study is part of the Bangladesh CP Register (BCPR) study; a population based CP
register commenced in January 2015 in the Shahjadpur sub-district of Bangladesh. As part of
BCPR registration, all children with CP in the catchment area were assessed by a paediatrician
and their clinical and immunisation history were collected.
Results: Between January and December 2015, 615 children with CP were registered on the
BCPR. The median age of the children was 7.5 years, and 38.5% were female. 91.7% of those
children had a BCG vaccine scar (as an objective marker for immunisation at birth). However,
only 43.2% reported to have received the rubella vaccine during the 2014 national rubella immunisation
campaign. Timing of CP diagnosis was found to be an independent predictor for immunisation
uptake; those diagnosed before the age of 3 were more likely to have received the rubella
vaccine (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.6 - 4.3, odds ratio [OR] 2.6, p <0.0001).
Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper to use a formal CP register to
examine the relationship between CP and immunisation status in a low or middle income country
like Bangladesh. Our data suggest that more than half of children with CP in rural Bangladesh did
not receive immunisation during a recent national campaign.