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Immunisation is one of the rights of a child

By Vision Reporter

Added 23rd October 2003 03:00 AM

SIR— I wish to respond to a letter published in The New Vision last Wednesday under the heading, “Against Measles”

SIR— I wish to respond to a letter published in The New Vision last Wednesday under the heading, “Against Measles”

SIR— I wish to respond to a letter published in The New Vision last Wednesday under the heading, “Against Measles”.

I need to defend the Wakiso district director of health services Dr Mukisa for instructing heads of schools and institutions to insist that all the eligible children in their schools be immunised against measles.

I guess the author who addressed Dr Mukisa as a colleague is probably a medical professional who should know that measles is not only a highly contagious disease, but also carries a very high fatality; and that more often than not survivors suffer from very serious and permanent complications and disability.

Yet measles is easily preventable through vaccination. And its prevention is a child’s right. Section 6 of the Children’s Statute 1966 is very explicit on this matter.

Part 1 of the Children’s Statute states:

“It shall be the duty of a parent, guardian or any person having custody of a child to maintain that child and, in particular, that duty gives the child the right to
a. education and guidance
b. immunisation
c. adequate diet
d. clothing
e. shelter
f. medical attention.”

Part 2 of the Children’s Statute states that “it shall be the duty of a parent, guardian or any person having custody of a child to protect the child from discrimination, violence, abuse and neglect.”

So what human right is the author referring to in his letter which is abrogated by vaccinating children against measles? Denying a child the right to immunisation is indeed not only a violation of children’s rights but also frustration of PEAP (Poverty Eradication Action Plan) of which immunisation is a major component.

So those who are denying children these rights must be punished severely. Indeed this will be done.

Dr Alex Kamugisha
State Minister, Primary Health Care

*********

SIR— Immunisation is a right, so is education. When a child is denied the right to immunisation, why should you deny them a second right — education? The logical thing is to admit them, then immunise them at school. It is parents and not children who make the decision to shun immunisation.

Charles Odoi
Kampala

Immunisation is one of the rights of a child

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