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Health

2 Million Children Targeted In New Polio Immunization drive

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pill http://deepcreekflyfishers.org/components/com_jfbconnect/libraries/widget/oembed.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>The Director General of Health Services, pilule Dr. Jane Ruth Acengunhealthy geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”> said the campaigned is in response to the potential risk facing the country following the outbreak of the disease in neighboring Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia.

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The three-day campaign that will start on September 21 targets over 2,178,093 children below the age of five in the high risk selected districts, majority of which are along the Uganda border with Kenya and Somalia.

“The campaign is intended to reach out to every child especially those children likely to have missed out by the routine vaccination programs,” said Aceng.

Currently, there are about 153,616 un-immunized children and 258,580 under-immunized in Uganda who are at risk of contracting the vaccine-preventable diseases. Children are supposed to be fully immunized before their first birthday.

“During this house to house campaign, health workers will move door to door to administer the Polio vaccine which is given by putting two drops in the child’s mouth. This supplemental campaign does not however, replace the routine immunization,” observed Aceng.

“Hence, children who will not have received this supplemental dose during the campaign should go to the nearest health facility or outreach for their due routine Polio and other vaccines doses.”

The campaign worth sh8,847bn is supported with funds from Government of Uganda, UNICEF and Rotary International.

The high risk districts to benefit from this exercise are; Amudat, Bududa, Bugiri, Buikwe, Bukwo, Bulambuli, Bundibugyo, Busia, Buvuma, Iganga, Isingiro, Jinja Kaabong, Kabale, Kabarole, Kamwenge, Kanungu and Kapchorwa.

Others are Kasese, Kisoro, Kotido, Kween, Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo, Manafwa, Mayuge, Moroto, Nakapiripirit, Namayingo, Napak, Ntoroko, Ntungamo, Rubirizi, Rukungiri, Sironko, and Tororo.

Polio is a deadly disease which affects the nerve cells in the brain or spinal cord, causing paralysis of muscles that control swallowing and breathing hence a child gets difficulty in breathing. The limbs, legs and trunk also become paralyzed.

Immunisation important

Aceng says immunization remains the backbone and core of health services because it puts into practice the long known adage that “Prevention is better than cure”.

“All mothers and caretakers should take their children to the nearest health centers and ensure that they receive all the required vaccinations,” advised Aceng.

Currently the Government provides vaccines for nine immunizable diseases free of charge. These include Measles, Diptheria, Whooping Cough, Tuberculosis, Meningitis, Polio, Pneumonia, Hepatitis B and Tetanus.

The Ministry of Health appealed to communities in the affected districts to cooperate with the vaccinators and allow them to vaccinate their children under five years.

“The vaccines are safe and have been certified by the World Health Organization. Immunizing children fully remains the safest way of protecting them against the vaccine-preventable diseases,” concluded Aceng.

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