Health Ministry Postpones Yellow Fever Mass Vaccination Campaign

Ministry of Health has rescheduled the planned yellow fever mass vaccination campaign that was expected to start this week. 

The exercise was scheduled to take place in Bulisa, Maracha, Koboko, Yumbe, Moyo and Obongi districts, which reported cases of Yellow Fever since 2019. The vaccination was prompted by eight laboratories, which confirmed yellow fever cases from the affected districts from November 4, 2019 through to February 14, 2020. 

Four deaths were detected through the national surveillance system. However, because of the ongoing nationwide lock down and the need for social distancing, doctors at the Health Ministry, say that the planned campaign which had been budgeted to cost Shillings 3.8 billion has been rescheduled.

Dr. Alfred Driwale, the manager Uganda National Expanded Program on Immunization-UNEPI, says the planned campaign will not take place because of the risk that a mass immunization campaign poses.

In 2019, Uganda embarked on a mass Measles/Rubella vaccination campaign that immunized over 1.8 million children between the ages of six months to 15 years of age. 

Dr. Driwale says that the Yellow fever campaign would have been carried out on a higher scale since it is targeting a wider age group. 

The Yellow fever mass vaccination campaign is not the only planned activity that the health ministry has been suspended. At the beginning of March, 2020, the health ministry was supposed to embark on the third mass mosquito net distribution exercise. 

The campaign was estimated to cost Shillings 23 billion. Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Senior Public Relations Officer Ministry of Health, says that just like many other activities, they were forced to postpone the activity. 

“That activity was suspended due to the unfortunate outbreak of COVID-19. But as soon as it is safe, we shall communicate the new dates and the distribution will take place,” Ainebyooa said.

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Abitegeka Gerald

The News Editor ,Reporter at Kagadi Kibaale community Radio

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