Thursday, 15 January 2015

Government to arrest parents who resist polio immunisation.Drive Hot News

A child being immunised
 A child being immunised recently. File photo 

Kampala- The Ministry of health together with the World Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday launched a countrywide house-to-house polio immunisation campaign of children below five years of age with a promise to arrest whoever tries to sabottage.
According to the Ms Sarah Opendi, the State minister for Primary healthcare, the move is aimed at preventing children from the polio virus following cases being reported by the neighbouring countries of South Sudan, Kenya Ethiopia and Somalia.
“You will recall that Uganda experienced outbreaks of the polio virus in February 2009 and October 2010 imported from South Sudan and Kenya respectively,” said Ms Opendi.
Ms Opendi added that Uganda remains at high risk of importing the polio virus through the porous nature of her borders which enables free movement of people amongst the countries.
“It is against this background therefore, that the Ministry of Health, with the support from the WHO, United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and other partners are conducting a door-to-door Polio immunisation campaign,” said Opendi.
According to the ministry, the vaccination campaign will take place on January, 17, 18 and 19. The vaccination teams will comprise one health worker and Local Council (LC1) official or Village Health Team member.
The campaign is targeting a total of 7.5million children below five years of age in the 112 districts of the country at a cost of Shs14.9 billion. The campaign is funded by WHO, UNICEF which are handling social mobilisation whereas government of Uganda is handling the coordination and implementation.
“During the exercise, all children under five years of age whether previously immunised or not, will be given Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) drops in the mouth,” said Ms Opendi.
She, however, added the house-to-house exercise does not replace the routine immunisation services provided at health facilities and outreaches. All parents and guardians have been advised to ensure all their children in the targeted age bracket are immunised against polio.
The director general health services, Dr Ruth Aceng warned that parents guardians who don’t take their children for immunisation will be arrested.
“Parents and religious groups who have been campaigning against government programmes including immunisation will be arrested,” said Dr Aceng, adding that a lot of advocacy and communication messages on the campaign have been made over the various channels of communication.
The campaign
• The campaign will be carried out in two phases: The first phase will run from January 17 to 19 and February 21, 22 and 24
• Attention is to be given to the 41 border districts which have high risk with the second dose of trivalent Oral Polio Vaccine.
• The 41 districts have challenges of low performance in routine immunisation.
• The vaccination in the second phase from February 21, 22 and 24 will focus on border districts.
• Cost of the campaign: Shs14.9 billion
• Targeted Children: 7,506,231 in 112 districts .