By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Uganda has kicked off a vaccination campaign targeting immunizing children below the age of five against polio, the Ministry of Health said.
Immaculate Ampeire, a senior medical officer in charge of immunization and vaccines at the ministry, said that the exercise will be conducted door-to-door countrywide from Jan. 14 to 16 not sparing children at schools.
However, the campaign has been hit by resistance mostly in Kampala by headteachers tasking health workers to bring introduction letters from the Government and receive the consent of parents to vaccinate their children 5yrs and above.
”Something not right now about the polio vaccination national exercise in some schools in Kampala. Resistance by headteachers demanding introduction letters from Government and approval by parents before children under 5 years old are vaccinated,” said a source from the Ministry of Health.
About 8.8 million children under five will be vaccinated with novel oral polio vaccines (nOPV2).
Last August, Uganda announced that there was a polio outbreak in the country after samples on fecal matter collected in the capital Kampala tested positive. The ministry of health warned at the time that it was the rare wild polio virus type 2, whose vaccine was withdrawn from the country’s routine immunization exercises in 2016.
The virus type, according to the ministry, is the most virulent of the three types, 1, 2, and 3. The resurgence was attributed to the reduced routine immunization in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Uganda was certified polio-free in October 2006 by the World Health Organization (WHO) after having reported no indigenous polio cases for 10 years.
According to the WHO, polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus that mainly affects children under five years old. The virus is transmitted by the faecal-oral route and by aerosol droplets.