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Lockdown affected HPV immunization uptake in Kanungu

HPV immunization. File photo

Kanungu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The HPV vaccination campaign in Kanungu district suffered a huge setback because of the lockdown that was initiated by the government to disrupt the spread of coronavirus.

The government launched the Human Papillomavirus Vaccination (HPV Vaccine) exercise at Bwera Secondary School grounds in Kasese district. The vaccine which targets girls from ten years and above is meant to protect them against cervical cancer.

The vaccine is administered in two doses spread over a period of four months. Dr Stephen Ssebudde, the Rukungiri District Health Officer says a number of learners who took the first dose of the vaccine missed the second dose because schools where they often find them were closed.

He says that most of the beneficiaries and their parents didn’t know that they could access the same service at their nearest health centres.

Ssebudde who didn’t reveal the exact number of girls affected also said the lockdown generally affected the immunization uptake in the district.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the review of immunization services in Kanungu district where various health units were graded according to their performance in immunization uptake.

Some of the best performing centres include Bukunga health centre II, Kayonza tea factory health centre III, Kihihi health centre IV, Kibmbiri health centre II and Nyamwegabira health centre III. The worst performers include Rutenga health centre III, Samaria health centre III, Rubimbwa health centre II, Kambuga hospital, Bwindi community hospital and Kanungu health centre IV among others.

Kanungu district vice-chairperson, Gard Byomuhangi lauded the health units that performed well and urged those that lagged behind to pull up their socks. He called for concerted efforts if uptake of immunization services is to improve.

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