Moroto, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Health has fallen short of its target in the Oral Cholera Vaccination exercise launched in the wake of a cholera outbreak in Moroto district.
The vaccination started on Monday, targeting to cover 85, 000 people across the district. However, the vaccination team says, in a report released on Sunday, June 21, that only 78 per cent of the target were received. 4 per cent of those vaccinated are children under one year.
Dr Douglas Kizito, from the Public Health Emergencies and Response Division in the Ministry of Health who headed the five-day exercise blamed the shortfall on stereotypes, trust and safety fears amongst members of the public.
He says many people in the area believe that the vaccine was capable of weakening their manhood and productivity, while a cross-section said they did do not trust its safety. Others, he said, rejected the doze on suspicion that it was part of the coronavirus trial.
Now, the district leadership has been tasked to extensively sensitize the masses about the need for vaccination as the ministry plans another round of vaccinations in July. According to Charles Onyang Omuudu, the Acting District Health Officer, the second round of vaccination is set to kick off on 6 July. He said priority will be given to those who already received the first dose.
Betty Irwasi, the Central Supervisor from the Ministry of Health says that contrary to public fears, the vaccine that is being used is safe and approved by the World Health Organization and Ministry of Health.
Meanwhile, the district authorities have been urged to up the campaign on the construction of latrines, in a district with latrine coverage of 24 per cent.