Measles-Rubella mass immunization exercise extended

Monday October 21 2019

The vaccines being loaded into the UPDF chopper

The vaccines being loaded into the UPDF chopper at the Airbase at Entebbe on Sunday-Photo Credit UPDF 

By URN

The Ministry of Health on Sunday extended the on-going Measles and Rubella mass immunization exercise. The exercise that kicked off on October 16th was meant to end on October 20th.

According Dr.Jane Acheng Ochero, the exercise has been extended because some schools missed out. Stock outs were also reported in some parts of the country.

In Kampala, Mukono and Wakiso, the exercise has been extended up to October 22,2019, while for the rest of the country it has been pushed to end on October 21st.

The Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF) on Sunday air lifted Measles-Rubella vaccines to five districts across the country.

UPDF delivered vaccines to Gulu, Kiruhura, Soroti, Mbarara and Kabale Districts following an emergency request by the Ministry of Health to the UPDF for a quick delivery to arrest shortage.

This is the latest UPDF's initiative in support of the Ministry of Health’s national immunization drive against measles and rubella.

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Col. Dr. Ambrose Oiko, the UPDF Public Health Director said they were contacted to support the emergency delivery of vaccines describing it as part of their roles to promote and guarantee public health.

Dr.Oiko says all emergency deliveries were conducted within two hours on Sunday noting that the immunization exercise in the affected districts will continue on Monday.

Lt Gen Charles Lutaaya, the UPDF Commander Air Forces described this as a normal role to support Ministry of Health's activities.

“We always respond at the shortest notice. We have standby assets for such eventualities. We are glad to offer any form of support when called upon,” said Lt Gen Lutaaya.

He adds that Air Force has on many occasions supported the civil authorities and government initiatives.

The UPDF has also used its nationwide ground network to support the Ministry of Health’s on-going nationwide vaccination drive.

Dr.Diana Atwiine, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health appreciated UPDF for supporting the on-going immunization drive by deploying their medical workers. Atwiine says the Ministry had to contact UPDF to intervene in the emergency situation and conduct deliveries of vaccines quickly to the affected districts.

The week-long mass measles and rubella immunisation exercise was targeting 18 million children

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