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UNEPI: 400,000 children not immunized

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | More than 400,000 children under the age of five years were not immunized in the last three years. This is according to the Uganda National Expanded Program on Immunization-UNEPI has revealed.

Records from the January 2015 to October 2018 indicate that over 100,000 children have been missing out on immunization annually. Infants are expected to receive a total of 11 vaccines.

The first vaccine is received at birth and the rest come at scheduled times before a child turns two years.

The most affected regions are Busoga which stands at 45 percent followed by North West and Bugisu with 47 and 48 percent respectively.

Addressing Members of Parliament during a parliamentary advocacy breakfast meeting on Friday, Dr Immaculate Ampeire, the Senior Medical Officer at UNEPI attributed the alarming figures to a lack of sensitization of parents about the of immunization.

“We have learnt that some parents do not take their children for immunization because they do not know it is needed. Some are just lazy and would rather remain home with their children instead of taking them to get immunized.”

Data from the Ministry of Health indicates that the most received vaccine is for Tuberculosis while the least vaccinated is measles.

Dr Ampeire attributes the frequent measles outbreaks in the country to the low immunization turn up.

For the financial year, 2017/2018 government spent 110 billion shillings on procurement of vaccines. Most of the funds are received through grants from development partners like GAVI.

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