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Ministry of Health to conduct preventive Polio Immunization

By Adiga Julius
The Ministry of Health is set to conduct a three-day house-to-house Polio vaccination campaign in 73 high risk districts
Place from tomorrow09th, 10th and 11th September 2017.

According to the ministry of health ,the campaign is aimed to vaccinate all children under five years of age whether previously immunized or not, with Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) drops in the mouth, to achieve at least 95% coverage for vaccination in the
Selected districts.

Some of the selected high risk districts are to undergo the vaccination include Adjumani, Agago, Alebtong, Amolatar, Amuru, Apac, Arua, among others.

Polio is a crippling and potentially deadly infectious disease caused by the Polio Virus and spreads, from person to person. It affects the nerves in the brain or spinal cord, causing paralysis of muscles that control swallowing and breathing, hence a child gets difficulty in breathing among others.

The ministry says that the mentioned districts were selected based on the low routine immunization uptake, sub optimal polio surveillance indicators and areas hosting refugees.
The ministry notes that the campaign will also be an opportunity to sensitize communities on Acute Flaccid Paralysis, surveillance and at the same time identify and investigate any unreported suspected cases of polio.

During this house-to-house campaign, the vaccination team comprising of one health worker, one Local Council (LC1) or VHT member will move door to door to administer the Polio vaccine which is given by putting two drops in the child’s mouth.
This supplemental campaign, however
The ministry however says the campaign does NOT replace the routine immunization schedule, but a preventive vaccination campaign worth Shs. 7,357 billion is supported with funds from, Government of Uganda, World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, targeting over 5,570,000 children below the age of five in the 73 selected high risk districts.

The Vaccination is one of the key strategies that the Government of Uganda is implementing in its
Roadmap to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goal three, (SDG 3) which underlines
The need for good health and well-being. Currently, the sector has made good progress in child
Immunization increasing from DPT3 coverage of 52% in 2012 to current coverage of 97%.

The ministry therefore appeals to Parents and Guardians, to ensure that all the children below five years of age are
Immunized against Polio during this house to house immunization exercise.
The ministry also urges parents to report any child under the age of 15 years who develops sudden weakness in the, arms or legs to the nearest health facility for examination and appropriate

It also adds that all parents should ensure that the children are taken for immunization 5 times to complete their doses before
Their first birthday.
The Ministry of Health urges parents and caretakers to continuously take their children to health, facilities and community outreaches for routine vaccination against all childhood immunisable killer diseases until they complete the recommended immunization schedule.

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