Parents hide children during immunisation
Posted Monday, March 11 2013 at 02:00
The Hoima District health officer says parents think that the vaccine causes measles.
Medical officials in Hoima District are disappointed by some parents who they say keep away their children from being immunised.
Various communities in Hoima are infected by measles which broke out in the Midwestern Uganda district in December 2012. The disease has so far claimed six lives and left hundreds infected.
Efforts by the government to immunise children below the age of five, who have mainly been affected by the epidemic, are apparently being foiled by some parents.
“Some parents think that the vaccine instead causes measles,” the district health inspector, Mr Fredrick Byenume, said.
He said cases of parents dodging immunisation teams had been discovered in Kaiso village in Buseruka Sub-county.
Kaiso fishing village is on the shores of Lake Albert and is inhabited by both Ugandans and Congolese nationals.
Medical officials say they continue registering more measles cases.
“We have registered seven new cases at Kyehoro Health Centre. The patients are from Kasio (village),” Mr Byenume said.
The patients are receiving medication and are reportedly showing signs of recovery.
The district health office has registered a cumulative number of 213 measles cases since the epidemic was confirmed.
The disease, first confirmed in Kaseeta parish in Kabwooya Sub-county, has reportedly spread to the neighbouring Buseruka Sub-county.
Security and medical officials said there were many illegal Congolese immigrants on various landing sites on Lake Albert from eastern DR Congo, many of whom have never been vaccinated.
According to the World Health Organisation, routine immunisation is highly effective for preventing measles. People who are not immunised, or who have not received the full immunisation are at high risk for catching the disease.
Those who have had an active measles infection, or who have been vaccinated against the measles have immunity to the disease.