By David Lumu
A quarterly district immunisation performance report covering the months of July and September 2013 indicates that although there is a 90% increase in immunisation coverage in every district, most districts are slow when it comes to the utilisation of these services.
“Generally, there is improvement in routine immunisation performance by all districts in the July- September quarter compared to the April-June quarter of 2013. About 78% of districts are above the national target for DPT3 coverage of 90% for the quarter.
Only 22% of the districts are below 90% DPT3 coverage for the targeted infants in that quarter,” said Dr. Robert Mayanja, the Uganda’s immunisation coverage improves programme manager of the Uganda National Expanded Programme on Immunisation (UNEPI).
According to a statement containing the analysis of the routine immunisation data that Mayanja released all districts in the Karamoja region scored poorly on the utilisation of the immunisations services despite the fact that the access to these services was good in the July-September quarter.
“Completing the immunisation schedule helps a child to get adequate protection from all the immunisable diseases. A child should be immunised at birth, six weeks, 10 weeks, 14 weeks and nine months,” Mayanja said.
In the eastern region, the poorest districts in utilisation of immunisation services include Bulambuli, Katakwi, Kamuli, Kaberamaido, Butaleja, Bukwo, Tororo, Kumi, Kibuku, Bududa, Budaka, Manafwa, Pallisa, Kween and Kapchorwa.
The report states that in the central region, the districts of Kyankwanzi, Nakasongola, Mityana, Luwero, Ssembabule, Kalungu, Kalangala, Bukomansimbi, Lwengo, Masaka and Buikwe also scored poorly in the utilisation of immunisation services. In West Nile, all districts are performing poorly except Arua.
In the northern region, the districts of Agago, Lira, Otuke, Oyam, Kitgum, Amolatar, Apac, Dokolo, Kole, Pader and Lamwo are also lagging behind.
The report also singles out the western region districts of Kabale, Mitooma, Rubirizi, Kanungu, Kisoro, Sheema, Hoima, Bundibugyo, Ntoronko and Kasese for not utilising the immunisation services despite the fact that these services are provided.
Mayanja said the Ministry of Health disbursed GAVI funds to all districts to support immunisation activities last week and that the Government is expected to train and dispatch supervision teams to help the poor performing districts up their response to the immunisation coverage.
UNEPI ensures that the population is free of vaccine preventable diseases. To implement the immunisation to prevent diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus, the Ministry of Health is supported by USAID’s maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP).