By H. Bainemigisha
The commissioner of Heath Services, Ministry of Health, Dr Sam Okware has said the outbreak of yellow fever in Sudan is not such a threatening development to Uganda.
â€œWe are monitoring the situation in conjunction with the project, Operation Southern Sudan and World Health Organisation (WHO).â€ At least 121 people have died in Central Sudan and WHO is supplying vaccines and drugs.â€ He said the border districts of Kotido, Gulu, Kitgum, Adjumani, Moyo, Yumbe and Arua have been instructed to be on the alert. â€œFortunately, it has been a procedure to require vaccine cards from countries at a risk of yellow fever at border points,â€ he said.
The doctor said around three years ago when a similar epidemic was reported in Imatong, Southern Sudan, the ministry carried out mass immunisation in Kitgum, Pader, Gulu and the UPDF. â€œA yellow fever vaccine remains effective for 10 years. Those who got the vaccine are still safe.â€ The assistant commissioner for surveillance and epidemics, Dr Ambrose Talisuna, said the ministry was in touch with WHO for updates. According to Kafuko Peter, a health educator at the ministry, medium risk is when cases are reported closer to the border or when there is high population movement with infected areas.
â€œAfter all, South Kordofan state is around 900km away by air from the Ugandan border,â€ he added. Okware advised people intending to travel to the Sudan to take the vaccine. It is available at KCC clinic at sh30,000.
But when yellow fever becomes a threat, the ministry will carry out free mass immunisation.