Despite heavy rains in different parts of Uganda, people from all walks of life on Wednesday took children for immunization against Measles-Rubella and polio.
The National Immunization campaign has been organised by Ministry of Health in partnership with World Health Organization.
It is taking place in over 16,000 schools around the country and will go on up Sunday, October, 20.
Immunisation is one of the most important health Interventions that protect people (especially young children. girls and women of child bearing age) from vaccine preventable diseases.
The country has experienced continual outbreaks of Measles and Rubella since 2016 to date and currently there are about 109 districts from 2016 that reported measles outbreak while 59 districts in the same period reported Rubella outbreak.
Measles-Rubella disease is a highly infectious disease that spreads fast in the population and is one of the leading causes of death among children In Uganda.
Several districts in Uganda haw not achieved 95% Measles immunization coverage which is required for Interruption of Measles transmission.
What is Measles disease?
Measles is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus. The disease has no specific treatment but can be prevented by immunisation.
How is Measles spread?
Measles is an airborne disease and highly infectious. It is spread by inhaling air that contains
Measles virus. Measles affects all ages, but it is more frequent in children who are not immunised
What are the signs and symptoms of Measles?
- Generalised skin rash lasting a minimum of 3 days
- Red eyes
- Red Lips and sores in the mouth
- Runny nose
It is important to note that Measles is usually more severe in unimmunized children and can lead to death
What are the complications resulting from Measles?
Severe weight Loss
Cough or rapid breathing (Pneumonia)
Damage to the eyes which may cause blindness
Pus discharge from the ears, which may lead to deafness
Convulsions which may lead to brain damage
How is Measles prevented?
Immunisation is the best way to prevent Measles. All children should be immunised against Measles at 9 months during routine immunisation. However, in a bid to prevent and control the current
Measles outbreak in the country.
All children aged 9 months to under 15 years should be immunised irrespective of their immunisation status during the Measles-Rubella immunisation campaign.
- What is Rubella Disease?
Rubella is a mild, yet highly contagious disease caused by a virus.
The disease features as a red rash and can cause birth defects or death of the unborn child of an infected pregnant woman.
- How is Rubella transmitted?
Rubella is a viral disease and is mainly transmitted by coughs. Rubella can also be transmitted through the placenta of a pregnant woman and affect the foetus (unborn baby).
What are the complications resulting from Rubella disease?
When a woman is infected with the Rubella virus early in pregnancy, she has a 9o% chance of passing the virus on to her unborn baby through the placenta. This can cause miscarriage, stillbirth or severe birth defects known as Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS).
How is Rubella prevented?
Rubella can be prevented through immunisation of all children aged g months to under 15 years during the Measles-Rubella immunisation campaign and children at 9 months during routine immunisation.
This will give them protection against Measles and Rubella diseases. The best protection against Measles and Rubella is through immunisation
How effective is the Measles-Rubella vaccine?
The Measles-Rubella vaccine is very effective in preventing Measles-Rubella diseases when all the targeted children receive the recommended doses.
A disease Like Small Pox was eradicated through immunisation and now Polio has almost been eradicated globally through immunisation. Similarly, Measles-Rubella disease can be eradicated through mass immunisation campaigns and routine immunisation.
What are the benefits of Measles-Rubella immunisation?
- It strengthens a child’s ability to fight Measles and Rubella diseases and reduces the chances of suffering from these diseases
- It prevents complications such as lameness, heart problems, hearing problems, developmental delays and blindness among others in children
- It reduces the burden/costs on parents/caregivers and communities in terms of time and money spent on treatment
- It contributes to a child’s proper growth and development
- It protects the entire community from childhood vaccine preventable diseases
- Every child that has been immunised with the Measles-Rubella vaccine will be protected from Measles and Rubella diseases and their complications
- Measles-Rubella immunisation makes children healthy and strong- this enables them to perform better in class