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Pader district fails to meet polio vaccination target

A child receives a polio vaccination drop during the nationwide vaccination campaign. File Photo

Pader, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Pader district has failed to vaccinate all the targeted children under five years during the polio vaccination campaign.

The campaign targets the Wild Polio 2 virus, samples of which were detected last year at two sewage treatment sites. This type of polio can lead to permanent paralysis or even death in some cases.

Pader district had a target of 50,777 children under five to be vaccinated but only 45,780 received the vaccine.

Justine Ocen, the LCV Vice-chairperson says that the district received fewer vaccines because the Ministry of Health relied on the district report about the target population, yet the figure is now different.

Ocen says the district is liaising with other neighboring districts to get vaccines and vaccinate the remaining children.

The Ministry of Health has also extended the date for the mass polio vaccination to Wednesday, saying they lacked enough vaccine carriers to safely transport vaccines to various destinations.

Last week, the Ministry of Health said that it is targeting to vaccinate at least 8.7 million children countrywide.

According to the ministry, although they had targeted to vaccinate 8.7 million children in the scheduled three days, 7.2 million children had been vaccinated by yesterday, Monday 17th, meaning 1.5 million children are yet to receive the vaccine.

Polio is a highly infectious viral infection disease that mainly affects children under the age of five. It is transmitted from one person to another through contaminated food and water and attacks the nervous system, resulting in stiffness and paralysis.

Uganda had already excluded the vaccines for poliovirus type two from the country’s immunization routine programs in 2016, following World Health Organization’s declaration in 2006 that Uganda was Polio free, and has not reported a case of polio for a decade.

However, the country continues to face threats of the contagion through its importation from neighboring countries.



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