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Moroto health workers embark on community engagements to boost immunisation

VHT member mobilises a parent to embrace vaccination.

Moroto, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Moroto health officials have embarked on community engagements to mobilise and educate mothers about the importance of vaccinating their children against diseases.

According to statistics obtained from Moroto district health department, between 60 to 70 percent of children aged between 0 to five years old begin the immunization, but only a handful complete the circle. Dr. James Lemukol, the Moroto District Health Officer says that many mothers from the villages are still skeptical of taking their children for immunization because of superstition.

According to Lemukol, although their immunisation target is 95 percent, the numbers have remained low. Lemukol revealed that they have resorted to Village Health Teams to carry out community outreaches to convince the community to embrace immunization.

He says that there are several barriers affecting immunization but the biggest one is the negative attitude from the mothers about the safety of the vaccines. “Our community still believes that the vaccines used are not safe for their children, they trust local herbs for treatment so we need to work hard to change that mindset,’’ Lemukol reiterated.

Lemukol said that although day to day movement of the communities affects the immunization exercise, they have advised the health workers to follow up with the communities wherever they are so as to boost the coverage.

In Kotido district, the health workers carried out door-to-door visits to encourage parents to embrace the polio vaccination exercise that commenced on Friday last week and ended on Sunday. The polio vaccination targeted children aged between 0 to 5 years.

Deborah Achia, the Assistant Kotido District Health Officer in charge of maternal and child health, said that the health workers moved from door to door to ensure that all the children in the district are immunized. She appealed to the LC1’s and VHTs to mobilize the populace so that the children in their villages don’t miss out on the 2nd vaccination program.

Dr. Cerino Acar, the Kotito District Health Officer confirmed that at least parents have understood the value of vaccinating their children. He noted that in the recent rubella vaccination campaign, the district registered a success rate of 98.2 percent.

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