The Health Minister, Jane Aceng has today Tuesday officially launched the Measles-Rubella and polio national campaign in Mayuge district that is scheduled for tomorrow Wednesday 16th to 20th October 2019
The campaign, an initiative of Government of Uganda in partnership with World Health Organisation and other development partners is aimed at combating the increasing numbers of Measles-Rubella outbreaks in different parts of Uganda
Speaking at the official launch held at the Mayuge District Head Quarters, the Health Minister encouraged all parents and caretakers to ensure that all their children from 9months to 15 years are taken for Immunisation and also to resist from following wrong advice given to them by selfish people that have been de-campaigning the exercise.
“I am aware that some people have been talking ill about the campaign but as a parent, it is you who will suffer if your children get sick and die because they were not immunised. The same people telling you not to immunise are taking their children to private hospital to be immunised, ” Dr Aceng said
She further noted that government is committed to keeping access to universal healthcare and services at the forefront and ensuring that every child receives Immunisation that protects them from killer tropical diseases
“Currently Uganda’s Immunisation campaign is 85% for all vaccines. Our measles coverage has improved in the last two years but because of reluctance from the parents, there had been recent outbreaks which called for immediate intervention,” she said
The Minister also noted that most the children that are born with heart defects are of parents that are or suffered from Rubella which calls for immunising against the disease. She further noted that Rubella Immunisation will be put on the routine Immunisation after this campaign.
The Measles-Rubella Immunization campaign is targeting over 18.1 million children from 9 months to 15 years while the polio Immunization targets about 8.2m children below 5 years including refugees.
Speaking at the same event, the World Health Organization representative in Uganda Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam commended the government of Uganda for successfully planning and executing the largest campaign in the history of Uganda and urged all community leaders, parents and children to support the campaign
“These vaccines are safe and effective and will protect our children against killer diseases. So let us make sure that 100% of the children in the states age brackets get immunised,” he said
According to the District Health Officer, Mayuge district, Chalse Nabangi, the district is fully prepared to kick off the campaign despite health sector challenges in the area like few health facilities, few health officers, limited transport among others.
“We have done enough mobilisation and sensitisation over the community radios. Vaccines and health officers have been dispersed from the districts to village posts,” he said
The immunisation exercise will start Wednesday up to Friday in over 16,000 kindergarten, primary and secondary schools, and all the other children that do not attend school will be immunised at over 20,000 designated posts in different parts of the country
According to the Immunization Act 2017, Immunization is mandatory for all and anyone who refuses to take their children for Immunization can be imprisoned for 6 months or made to pay fine