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Busia municipality embarks on cholera vaccination

A health worker administering oral cholera vaccine to a child.

Busia, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Health workers have started a five days door to door cholera vaccination exercise in the 24 villages of Busia municipality.

Busia municipality received a total of 71,150 doses of oral cholera vaccines that are administered to people aged one year and above.

The vaccination exercise started on Monday and is expected to end on Friday this week.

The exercise targets a total population of over 70,000 in the area to protect them against the severe, potentially epidemic, life threatening diarrheal disease (cholera) that causes death within a short time if not medically managed.

The doses are administered two times with six months in between. The vaccination follows several outbreaks of the disease in previous years in the area where over 247 cholera cases and seven deaths were reported.

Dr. Allan Muruta, the commissioner epidemiology and surveillance from ministry of health said during the launch of cholera vaccination at Madibira Primary School ground in Busia municipality that the vaccination is to take place in six districts that are prone to cholera outbreak namely Busia, Zombo, Bududa, Nebi, Pakwach, and Buliisa.

This is the third phase and is part of plans by ministry of health to eliminate cholera from the country.

Dr. Mathias Wabwire Panyako, the Busia district health officer says that the doses are for people who received the first dose in October last year and the few who shall get the first dose.

According to Wabwire, Busia district still has a challenge of low latrine coverage which currently stands at 79%,  leaving a gap of some households still lacking latrines, a lapse that still puts the area in danger of cholera outbreak.

Apollo Hasashs, a resident says that they want government to bring more doses so that whoever comes into Busia town gets vaccinated.

Hamis Twaha Ogoola, the LC.1 chairman Madibira B village is optimistic that the vaccines have come in time during rainy season which is always when the area registers the cholera outbreak.

Suzan Wandera, the Busia town deputy mayor says that they still have a challenge of people dumping feaces which enter water sources. She appealed to village chairpersons to ensure landlords provide latrines.

John Rex Aachila, the Busia resident district commissioner says that they have constituted a team of leaders comprising health educators to conduct sensitization in the villages to ensure people don’t develop negative attitudes towards the vaccination exercise.

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