Uganda to conduct second mass polio vaccination campaign

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Uganda will conduct a second polio immunization campaign targeting children under five years of age. The countrywide campaign is scheduled for November, 2022 according to Ministry of health.

Dr. Daniel Kyabayinze, the Director of Public Health, confirmed this during the World Polio Day pre-event organized by Rotary Uganda on Saturday in Kampala.

Kyabayinza said the second phase is intended to supplement the first campaign carried out in January 2022.

He noted that the second dose is critical for children following the confirmation of wild polio cases in Malawi.

The campaign targets an estimated 8 million children under the age of five.

The first national immunization campaign, carried out in January, was recommended by the Ministry after a polio variant virus was detected in faecal matter samples collected from Kampala, Kyabayinza said.

The Ministry noted that it was a rare wild poliovirus type 2, whose vaccine was withdrawn from the country’s routine immunization exercises in 2016.

According to Dr. Charles Olaro, Director of Clinical Services in the Ministry of Health, any detected cases of polio raise a red flag because it is contagious and can spread easily because people move across country borders.

โ€œAlthough Uganda was certified polio-free back in 2006 by the World Health Organization, any case detected anywhere raises a red flag as polio is extremely contagious and can spread easily as people move across borders,” Dr. Olaro said.

He advised that people can contract polio when they drink water contaminated with the faecal matter of someone who carries the virus.

“Children under the age of five and those living in areas with poor sanitation are most at risk,” he said.

Olaro added that, currently, there is no cure for polio, but the vaccine protects children for life.

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