Kampala – UGANDA is set to immunize more than 18 million children against measles and rubella, which amounts to 43% of the country’s population.
Among them, 8.2 million children younger than 9 months, or 20.5% of the population, will also receive the oral polio vaccine.
“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 Jane Ruth Aceng, Uganda Minister of Health.
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 neighbouring countries.
The five-day mass immunization campaign is funded by the Government of Uganda, GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, the United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization (WHO).
“This is an extremely important exercise,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.
“It represents an impressive level of commitment to health care that we need more than ever across the African Region to prevent deaths, disease and suffering and to avoid unnecessary expenditure when caring for people who are sick.”
The campaign, to be conducted in schools for the first three days and in communities for the last two days, targets all children younger than 15 years and is seen as a launchpad to introduce the measles-rubella vaccine into the country’s routine immunization schedule.