UGANDA – The Ministry of Health (MOH) has commenced a 10-day door-to-door polio vaccination drive in districts that recorded cases of Ebola virus disease in the latest outbreak.
The exercise, which will continue until January 30, will be conducted in Kassanda, Mubende, Mukono, Kampala and Wakiso Districts. According to a statement released by the ministry on Friday, it will target children below five years of age.
These districts missed out on the vaccination campaign that took place in November because of the outbreak.
The children will now be receiving a second dose of the oral polio vaccine having got the first dose in January 2022. However, the drive will take place in Kampala between February 17 and 19.
Uganda resolved to conduct a vaccination campaign after the country discovered the polio virus in the routine sentinel surveillance where positive samples were picked from Lubigi and Bugolobi sewage sites in August 2021.
No human case was identified at the time but experts say the outbreak could have been caused by the interruption of routine immunization services during the COVID-19 pandemic when the country was under lockdown.
Dr Daniel Kyabayinze, the Director of Public Health in the Ministry of Health says that even though Uganda is not under serious threat of polio, the disease is still circulating in other countries which makes it important for the children to be protected both through routine immunization and campaign mode one-offs like these.
He urges health workers and caretakers to report all cases of children below 15 years who suddenly develop lameness in the arms or legs.
As a routine, the ministry conducts acute flaccid paralysis surveillance across all government health facilities in the country.
Polio is a disabling and potentially deadly disease caused by the poliovirus which spreads from person to person and can infect a person’s spinal cord, causing paralysis.
Although there is no cure for polio, it can be prevented with safe and effective vaccination.
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