What you need to know:
- Mr Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Ministry of Health spokesperson, said the immunisation is a preventive measure against a new strain of a polio virus
The Ministry of Health has said the mass vaccination for children aged five and below against the deadly strain of poliovirus circulating in the country will be done in December.
The mass vaccination, which will be house-to-house, comes after the government last week received 10 million doses targeting 8.5 million children.
Mr Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Ministry of Health spokesperson, said the immunisation is a preventive measure against a new strain of a polio virus.
Uganda was declared polio free in 2010, but a recent environmental surveillance at Lubigi sewerage plant identified another polio virus in various samples.
“We need to vaccinate our children because South Sudan and DR Congo are always declaring outbreaks,” Dr Ayena Okello, the director health services Kampala Capital City Authority, said at an exercise organised by the Rotary Club of Kampala North at St Stephen’s hospital in Mpererwe on Sunday.
The rotary club has partnered with St Stephen’s Hospital Mpererwe, Ministry of Health, USAID and FHI 360 to mobilise the community and sensitise them about the virus.
During a separate event organised by the Rotary Club of Sonde at Rotary Hospital Mukono, State minister for Primary Health Care Margaret Muhanga affirmed the government’s drive to vaccinate all children below five against polio.
Prof Pontiano Kaleebu, the director of Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), told this newspaper recently that the strain of the poliovirus was discovered by their scientists during their routine surveillance.
He said the scientists picked samples from sewage plants of Bugolobi and Lubigi in Kampala in June for laboratory analysis. Part of the analysis was done at UVRI but the final analysis was done in a laboratory in South Africa which on July 21 confirmed the presence of the deadly strain in Uganda.
Dr Immaculate Ampaire, the Deputy Manager of immunisation programme, said recently that the vaccine is the only way to protect the children from the strain and prevent a major outbreak.