2 Million Ugandan Children Vaccinated Against Polio

search geneva;”>The Director General Health Services, more about Jane Aceng, says the campaign was successful having registered a 101% coverage exceeding the total number of 2,246,983 children that were originally targeted.

The exercise, conducted between October 20- 22, reached out to every child under the age of five especially those who missed the routine immunization exercise in the selected districts.

It reached out to the children whose parents could not take them to health facilities or community outreaches due to various reasons.

Under the campaign, the Ministry of Health, with support from World Health Organization and UNICEF, worked closely with village local councils and Village Health Teams to register children and administer the vaccines.

The districts covered were Abim, Amudat, Bududa, Bugiri, Buikwe, Bukwo, Bulambuli, Bundibugyo, Busia, Buvuma, Iganga, Isingiro, Jinja, Kaabong, Kabale, Kabalore, Kamwenge, Kanungu, Kapchorwa, Kasese, Kisoro, Kotido, Kween, Kyegerwa, Kyenjojjo, Manfwa, Mayuge, Moroto, Nakapiripirit, Namayingo, Napak, Ntoroko, Ntungamo, Rubirizi, Rukungiri, Sironko and Tororo.

The best performing districts were Bulambuli, Sironko, Manafwa, Buvuma, Busia, Bugiri, Iganga, Isingiro, Kyegegwa, Namayingo, and Tororo registering over 120% coverage. There were however, many challenges faced especially in the eastern districts where some cultural and religious practices barred children from receiving vaccination.

Vaccination is one of the key strategies that the Ministry of Health is implementing in its roadmap to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals four and five; that is the reduction of child mortality by two thirds and the reduction of maternal mortality rate.

Polio is caused by a virus which is spread through taking food or drinks that are contaminated by faeces of an infected person.

The polio virus spreads from one child to another and an infected child may not immediately show signs of Polio. However these children still pass on the disease to other susceptible children.

The children not immunized against polio virus usually acquire the disease which leads to lameness and death.

It is a complex disease and more than 99% of persons who carry the polio virus go undetected. The Ministry notes that failure to eradicate polio allows for resurgence leading to death and disablement of thousands of children.

Our shared goal is that every child in Uganda should complete the recommended vaccinations by the end of their first year of life.

Aceng urges parents and caretakers to continuously take their children to health facilities and community outreaches for routine vaccination against all childhood killer diseases till they complete the recommended immunization schedule.


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