Items filtered by date: Sunday, 08 September 2019

Ministry Of Health Suspends Measles, Rubella Vaccination Campaign

The ministry of health has announced that it has postponed the Measles-Rubella (MR) national vaccination campaign from the scheduled dates of 25-29, September 2019 to 16-20 October 2019.

They didn't give a reason for the postponement in the announcement posted on their social media pages.

The ministry received more than 20m doses of Measles-Rubella vaccine worth $19m.

The vaccines were procured by UNICEF with support from GAVI to protect more than 18m children aged 9 months to 15 years.

In a press statement dated Thursday, 18 July 2019, UNICEF said they had received the last batch of the vaccines.

On the same date, Dr. Charles Olaro, the ministry of health’s Director of Clinical Services, received the vaccines at Entebbe International Airport. 

UNICEF said an increasing number of unvaccinated children in Uganda has led to measles outbreaks in several districts across the country.

"62 districts are currently experiencing a Measles outbreak while 25 have been affected by Rubella. 

"Globally, over 400 children die every day due to measles and about 280 babies are born every day with congenital rubella syndrome (CRS).

“By vaccinating every child in Uganda on time, we will avert the spread of these dangerous diseases and many preventable child deaths and birth defects,” UNICEF said.

The campaign is a partnership between UNICEF, Ministry of Health, WHO, Gavi and The Vaccine Alliance.

It aims to improve routine immunization coverage, eliminate measles outbreaks and prevent rubella.

The ministry said the mass vaccination exercise when in returns in October will target all children 9 months to under 15 years. “During this exercise, all children under 5 years will receive a booster dose of Oral Polio Vaccine,” the ministry said.

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CHOLERA OUTBREAK: How To Protect Yourself From Getting Infected

The ministry of health on Friday informed the public that there is an active cholera outbreak in five districts. The affected districts according to the ministry are Bududa, Kyegegwa, Busia and Isingiro.

And of the 241 cases reported in the five districts, only 2 deaths have been recorded over the last three months - since June 2019.

The ministry said it is doing all it can to contain the high-risk disease through intensified health education of hygiene improvement including handwashing with soap, eating hot food, use of safe water, construction of latrines and investigate further outbreaks to identify the risk factors.

The ministry added that it will establish cholera treatment centres in the affected districts, strengthen coordination to monitor progress on outbreak control measures, provide addition medicines to replenish stock and carry out cholera vaccines in the district.

And amidst this scare, the ministry warned that with a pending rainy season between September and November, contamination of water sources due to floods washing away latrines, the cholera risk is expected to rise.

How to avoid cholera

In a statement signed by Dr. Henry G. Mwebesa, the Ag. Director General Health Services, the ministry gave the following guidelines below for one to stay clear of cholera.

  • Boil all drinking water or add chlorine (water guard or aguatab)
  • Open the water drainage channels around your homes and drain stagnant water
  • Wash your hands with soap and clean water after using the toilet and before eating food
  • Cook food thoroughly and eat it while still hot. Always wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly with clean water before eating them.
  • Avoid eating cold food or drinking fluids packed in used plastics bottles or buvera
  • Collect water for household use from National Water and Sewage Cooperation taps and avoid water from wells or springs because they may be contaminated by disease-causing organisms
  • Seek early treatment from the nearest Health Facility upon onset of symptoms.

Signs and Symptoms

According to the health ministry, the symptoms of Cholera can begin as a few hours or as long as five days after infection.

It reveals that people infected with Cholera get severe watery diarrhoea accompanied by vomiting which can quickly lead to dehydration.

Dr. Mwebesa said that although many infected people may have minimal or no symptoms, they can still spread it to other people.

He urged the public to be vigilant and report any suspected cholera cases or strange death to the nearest health facility or call a toll-free line 0800-100-066.

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