Nationwide immunization against Polio and Measles-Rubella kicked off on Wednesday in all districts of Uganda. The campaign targets all children under 15 years and it will run from 16th to 20th October 2019.
According to the ministry of health the campaign will be conducted in schools for the first three days and in communities for the last two days.
The mass immunization campaign targets all children younger than 15 years, whether previously immunized or not, in order to interrupt the circulation of these diseases. It will also be a launchpad to introduce the measles-rubella vaccine into the country’s routine immunization schedule.
The minister of health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng officially launched the national measles rubella and polio campaign in the eastern District of Mayuge. Speaking after the launch, Minister Aceng urged all parents and caretakers to ensure that they take children under 16 years for immunization.
Reports indicate that more than 18 million children in Uganda are expected to be immunized against polio and measles rubella in this mass campaign.
Uganda has experienced measles outbreaks across numerous districts in the past three years. At the same time, polio remains a daunting threat, given evidence of vaccine-derived strains circulating in neighboring countries.
The five-day mass immunization campaign, funded by the Government of Uganda; GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance; the United Nations Children’s Fund; and the World Health Organization (WHO); intends to tackle these three public health challenges.
“This campaign does NOT replace the routine immunization schedule. Parents, caregivers and all concerned must ensure that all children receive and complete all the vaccines specified on our immunization schedule after the campaign,” said Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, Uganda Minister of Health.
The mass campaign provides an opportunity to intensify sensitization of communities on measles, rubella and polio as well as disease surveillance and to investigate any unreported but suspected cases of these diseases.