By Juliet Waiswa
Following the increasing cases of forged yellow fever cards, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has given the public the chance to get their yellow fever vaccines.
Dr. Daniel Okello Ayen, the acting director Public Health and Environment under KCCA said the vaccine goes for a minimum fee for all people who want to travel abroad.
“We want people to get genuine yellow fever vaccines. We are liaising with all embassies to ensure that all people who are seeking visas have the proper yellow fever card indicating that they received the vaccine,” he said.
In the past, people have been getting fake yellow cards with forged signatures from the defunct Kampala City Council (KCC).
Okello said that many people are shunning the vaccine for fear of getting the injection. Others cannot part with amount of money that the vaccine necessitates.
He said KCCA has 1,200 vaccines it will charge at sh8,000 each instead of the official fee of sh50,000. The vaccine can only be got at the KCCA head office clinic.
“As one way of giving back to the public and saving them from being cheated in private hospitals, KCCA has today officially opened up a yellow fever immunization service for all travellers,” the official said at the launch.
Each vaccine is valid for ten years.
Yellow fever is prevalent in tropical Africa. There is no cure for the disease and it accounts for the lives of 50% of severely affected persons who receive no treatment.
Current estimated statistics indicate that yellow fever kills 30,000 people every year, with about 200,000 reported cases of illness. There have been deaths among unvaccinated tourists visiting risk areas.
The disease is caused by a virus and spread to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.
Three to six days after the bite, the sufferer develops a sudden onset of fever. Many cases are mild, last less than a week, and the person makes full recovery. Sometimes the disease may be more serious.
The liver may be damaged, leading to jaundice – a yellowish tinge to the skin and eyes, which explains its name 'yellow' fever.
The disease may cause joint pain and vomiting. Eventually the clotting system fails and bleeding occurs from the nose, gums, stomach and skin. Death usually occurs seven to 10 days after the onset of the illness.