The selected high risk districts include Adjumani, Agago, Alebtong, Amolatar, Amuru, Apac, Arua, Budaka, Bududa, Bugiri, Bukwo, Bulambuli, Buliisa, Bundibugyo, Busia, Butaleja, Buyende, Dokolo, Gulu, Hoima, Iganga, Isingiro and Jinja, among others
HEALTH | POLIO IMMUNISATION
Starting on Saturday September 9, all children under the age of five in 73 districts across the country will be vaccinated against polio, a leading child killer disease.
The three-day campaign targets to reach over 5. 5 million children in high-risk districts, the Ministry of Health announced on Friday.
The polio immunisation exercise will be conducted door-to-door and all children will be given Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) drops in the mouth, whether they have previously been vaccinated or not.
The three-day long exercise seeks to boost immunisation coverage in the selected districts to at least 95%, a statement from the ministry said.
The selected high risk districts are: Adjumani, Agago, Alebtong, Amolatar, Amuru, Apac, Arua, Budaka, Bududa, Bugiri, Bukwo, Bulambuli, Buliisa, Bundibugyo, Busia, Butaleja, Buyende, Dokolo, Gulu, Hoima, Iganga, Isingiro, Jinja, Kaabong, Kabale, Kabarole, Kaliro, Kampala, Kamuli, Kamwenge, Kanungu, Kapchorwa, Kasese, Kibaale, Kibuku, Kiryandongo, Kisoro, Kitgum, Koboko, Kole, Kween, Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo, Lamwo, Lira, Luuka, Manafwa, Maracha, Masindi, Mayuge, Mbale, Moyo, Namayingo, Namatumba, Nebbi, Ntoroko, Ntungamo, Nwoya, Otuke, Oyam, Pader, Pallisa, Rakai, Rukungiri, Sironko, Tororo, Wakiso, Yumbe, Zombo, Kagadi, Kakumiro, Omoro and Rubanda.
Polio is an infectious disease caused by the poliovirus. It can spread through contaminated water or food and multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and can cause paralysis.
Initial symptoms of polio include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck, and pain in the limbs. The disease causes paralysis, which is often permanent.
Although the disease has no cure, it can be prevented by immunisation.
Although Uganda’s immunization coverage has improved from 52% in 2012 to 97% presently, several districts still face a risk of infection, especially around areas that continue to receive refugees.
The three-day exercise will cost sh7.3b, with funding from the Government, World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. The exercise will not replace the routine immunisation schedule.
Parents and guardians have been advised to ensure all their children below five years of age are immunised against Polio during the exercise.
The health ministry has also appealed to the public 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.