RDC deploys army, police to enforce polio immunization in Wakiso

Health workers stand outside one of the nursery schools that had refused to have children vaccinated in Wakiso District on January 19, 2022. PHOTO.JOSEPH KIGGUNDU 

What you need to know:

  • Local Council (LC) leaders were given at least Shs40, 000 by government for the immunization exercise that has been faced with some resistance from many parts of Uganda.  

The Wakiso Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Justine Mbabazi has deployed the army and police in the field to join health workers in enforcing a polio-immunization for children below 5 years.

Confirming arrests of some many head teachers in the area, Ms Mbabazi said her decision followed complaints from authorities as “health workers were totally barred from administering polio vaccines in some private schools.”

“They are going to be prosecuted. These children are for the country not for parents or schools and the same children have a right to be vaccinated,” Ms Mbabazi remarked as she vowed to ensure that “all eligible children are immunized.”

The Wakiso Assistant District Health Officer (DHO) and in charge of the immunization drive Dr Betty Nabuganda said that her territory received 680,000 polio doses to be fully utilized.

“Many of our health workers have been locked outside schools blocking immunization. We’re focusing on those schools which denied us access and within two days we shall be done with all Wakiso children” said Ms Nabuganda.

She added that the District Education Officer (DEO), Fredrick Kiyingi also wrote to the schools asking them to accept health teams to immunize infants.

“The schools said we should first get the permission from parents which means that schools and parents wanted to fail the exercise but we’re on the right track since we have officers on the ground,” she stated.

Wakiso District Health Educator Ms Bonny Nakunda has since encouraged parents to avail their children for the mass exercise aimed at wiping out a recent polio outbreak in the country.

“You know behavior change is a gradual process which takes some time,” Ms Nankunda observed as the District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Mathias Lugoloobi called upon local councils spearhead community sensitization on polio.

“It seems local councils have not done their work on ground and that’s the reason why we still have resistance to this polio immunization exercise in some schools and families,” he opined.  

According to Dr Lugoloobi, Local Council (LC) leaders were given at least Shs40, 000 by government for the immunization exercise that has been faced with some resistance from many parts of Uganda.  

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