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Pneumonia vaccination starts tomorrow

By Vision Reporter

Added 26th April 2013 12:15 PM

The Government will tomorrow start free vaccination against pneumonia in children aged below one year.

The Government will tomorrow start free vaccination against pneumonia in children aged below one year.

By Taddeo Bwambale

The Government will tomorrow start free vaccination against pneumonia in children aged below one year.

The ministry of health will roll out the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV 10), a new vaccine to prevent diseases caused by the pneumococcal bacteria.

The vaccine is expected to lower the high infant mortality rate in the country, which currently stands at 90 deaths per 1,000 births.

Addressing journalists yesterday, state minister for primary healthcare Sarah Opendi appealed to parents to take their children for immunisation.

“Immunisation is a public health right,” she said.

According to the health ministry, the PCV vaccine will be rolled out countrywide and will be part of the routine child vaccination programme.

The vaccine will be administered alongside other childhood vaccines against tuberculosis, polio, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, influenza B and measles.

The PCV vaccine will be administered as an injection on the upper part of the right thigh to babies at three intervals when they are six weeks old, then at 10 weeks of age and at 14 weeks.

President Yoweri Museveni will launch the vaccine in Iganga district on Saturday.

The introduction of the PCV vaccine will save the lives of over 10,000 children and sh2.5b annually in direct medical costs, according to the health ministry.

Pneumonia is the second biggest killer of children under the age of five in Uganda, after malaria.

According to the World Health Organisation, pneumonia kills about 1.6 million children under the age of five annually and accounts for 18% of all deaths of children under the age of five.

Unicef estimates that at least one-and-a-half million children, who died in the year 2011 globally, would have survived if they were immunised.

 

Pneumonia vaccination starts tomorrow

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