Government Launches Meningitis Immunization Campaign

Ministry of health in collaboration with World Health Organization and the United Nations Children Fund will conduct a mass meningitis immunization campaign in 39 high risk districts across the country.

The vaccination campaign will take place from the 19th to 24th January 2017 according to the Health Ministry’s Director General Health Services Prof Anthony  Mbonye.

The selected high risk districts are Abim, thumb Adjumani, and Agago, Alebtong, Amolater, Amudat, Amrta , Arumu,Apac, Arua, Buliisa, Dokato, Gulu, Hoima, Kaabong, Kaboka, Kole, Kotida, Lamwo, Lira, Maracha, Masidi, Moroto, Moyo, Nakapiripirit, Napak, Nebbi, Nwoya, Omoros, Otoke, Oyam, Pader, Soroti, Yumbe and Zombo.

“The preventive immunization campaign is focusing on the greater northern Uganda and parts of western Uganda because they lie in the meningitis belt of Sub Sahara Africa, which has experienced frequent outbreak of meningococcal meningitis epidemic leading to high mortality and morbidity in the population,” Prof Anthony Mbonye said while addressing the media on Friday at the Ministry.

Meningococcal meningitis is a bacterial form of meningitis that affects the thin layer of membrane covering the brain and spinal cord, and can cause brain damage and death in 50 percent of cases if not treated.  Usually infants are more at risk.

According to Mbonye, the dusty winds and cold nights which characterize the period between December and June in the meningitis belt increase the risk of meningitis.

Transmission of the meningitis is further facilitated by overcrowded housing and large population displacement.

“Vaccination is one of the key strategies that government of Uganda is implementing in the roadmap to attainment of the sustainable development goals which underline the need for good health and well being”.

“The health sector has made good progress in child immunization increasing from DPT3 coverage of 97percent and is expected to increase even further with this preventive campaign”


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