#HEALTH: Uganda, 4.7 Million Children to Get Polio Vaccine

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Kampala — Beginning Saturday, the Ministry of Health will immunise children below five years against the polio virus using the oral polio vaccine.

According to the Permanent Secretary, Dr Asuman Lukwago, the vaccination campaign will start from January 23 to January 25 in 57 high-risk districts.

“During the exercise, all children under five years whether previously immunised or not, will be given oral polio vaccine (OPV) drops in the mouth,” Dr Lukwago told journalists yesterday at the Uganda Media Centre. “The vaccination teams will comprise one health worker and one local council (Local Council One) official or VHT member and we shall use this opportunity to educate parents and guardians on identifying and investigating any unreported cases of suspected cases of polio,” Dr Lukwago added.

Mr Andrew Bakainaga, the WHO adviser on immunisation, said the campaign is part of the strategies set to eradicate polio from the country by 2018.

“The targets include border districts, those with poor performance in routine immunisation and the districts hosting refugees,” Mr Bakainaga said. The house-to-house polio vaccination campaign is targeting 4.7 million children and is estimated to cost Shs9.9 billion. It is funded by WHO, UNICEF and the Uganda government.

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