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UNEPI to introduce injectable polio vaccine

By Vision Reporter

Added 3rd October 2014 06:38 PM

The Uganda National Expanded Programme on Immunization (UNEPI) is to introduce a new mode of administering polio vaccine as a strategy to eliminate the ailment in the country.

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The Uganda National Expanded Programme on Immunization (UNEPI) is to introduce a new mode of administering polio vaccine as a strategy to eliminate the ailment in the country.

By Agnes Kyotalengerire

The Uganda National Expanded Programme on Immunization (UNEPI) is to introduce a new mode of administering polio vaccine as a strategy to eliminate the ailment in the country.


The oral method being currently used to administer the vaccine will be replaced with the injecting approach.

 
“The injecting of the vaccine will involve use of a needle which is very mild like a prick,” said Dr. Robert Mayanja the UNEPI assistant commissioner of health services.

 
He revealed this during a consultative meeting on legislation for immunization and it’s financing in Africa organized by SABIN Institute together with the ministry of health and UNEPI on immunization at Serena Hotel in Kampala on Tuesday.

 
Explaining the advantages the injectable vaccine has over the oral vaccine, Dr. Mayanja said the injectable method has higher efficacy of up to 100%.

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Minister of state for primary health care, Sarah Opendi addressing participants. On the left is the minister of state for economic monitoring, Henry Banyenzaki and Dr. Robert Mayanja the UNEPI assistant commissioner of health services. PHOTO/ Agnes Kyotalengerire

 

“When you use the injectable vaccine, the children get protection of 100% compared to the oral vaccine which provides 85% efficiency in every 100 children vaccinated,” Mayanja said.

 
He added that the injectable vaccine does not cause vaccine derived polio.

 
He said the new injectable vaccine will be rolled out in June and July 2015 and will be provided by the Global Alliance Vaccine Initiative (GAVI).

 
The current system oral polio immunization system being phased out was introduced in the late 1980s after it replaced the method where the children were pricked several times on the shoulders.

 
The Minister of state for economic monitoring, Henry Banyenzaki appealed to MPs to advocate for the immunization of children in their constituencies.

 
“Immunization is a proven tool for controlling and eliminating life threatening infectious diseases and is estimated to avert between two and three million deaths each year.

 
Minister of state for primary health Care, Sarah Opendi said although Uganda is doing well on the issue of polio, some districts that are not doing well for example Karamoja, Ajumani should improve so as to reduce vaccine preventable mortality and morbility in the country.

 
Mayanja said a total of $256,200 (about sh660m) has been budgeted to buy 10 boats to facilitate the transportation of drugs to the hard-to-reach islands.

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Members of parliament listening to minister of state for economic monitoring, Henry Banyenzaki during a consultative meeting on legislation for immunization and it’s financing in Africa organized by SABIN Institute together with the ministry of health and UNEPI at Serena Hotel in Kampala.PHOTO/Agnes Kyotalengerire

Polio trend in Uganda       

Polio is caused by infection with the poliovirus. This virus is highly contagious, and is passed on through food and water contaminated with the stool (feces) of infected people.

 
It has got an incubation period of between four and 21 days before symptoms manifest and an infected person can pass the virus on to other people even before symptoms appear.

 
Mayanja said Uganda last got polio case in 2010.


“Wild polio virus is only remaining in a few countries in the world and majority being countries where there are wars like Somalia, Nigeria and Pakistan.

 
He said although Uganda is doing well in polio eradication, the preventive campaign is aimed at  boosting the immunity of children under the age of five targeting especially those who could have missed out on vaccination.

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UNEPI to introduce injectable polio vaccine 2015

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