Government Considers Routine Yellow fever Vaccination

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In short
Dr. Anthony Mbonye, the Director General Health Services, says they are currently trying to determine the exact amount of money needed to conduct the countrywide routine Yellow fever vaccination.

The Health Ministry is considering introducing routine Yellow Fever vaccination countrywide to reduce the risk of outbreaks. It follows the recent pronouncement by World Health Organisation-WHO that a single dose of Yellow Fever vaccine is a lifelong measure against the disease.



 
Dr. Anthony Mbonye, the Director General Health Services, says they are currently trying to determine the exact amount of money needed to conduct the countrywide routine Yellow fever vaccination. He says both children and Adults could benefit from routine immunization. 




"We cannot conduct Universal immunization. The best we can do is to ensure routine vaccination for members of the community. We shall also ensure that these vaccines are available in strategic places like at KCCA among other facilities" said Dr. Mbonye. According to Dr. Mbonye, they will seek funding from GAVI to implement the program, since the yellow fever vaccine is scarce and costly. GAVI has been supporting the fight against yellow fever in Africa. 




He says more people will be encouraged embrace the vaccination not only for travel purposes, but to ensure their safety from the fever. On September 6th, the Health Ministry declared Uganda yellow fever free following a succession vaccination in the aftermath of an outbreak on April 8, 2016 in the country.
 
 
Seven out of 65 reported cases tested positive for yellow fever in Masaka, Kalangala and Rukungiri districts between April and June. The fever also claimed three people. 627,706 people were vaccinated. 273,447 in Masaka district, 304,605 in Rukungiri district and 49,654 in Kalangala district. A single dose of yellow fever costs between 40,000 and 100,000 Shillings in various health facilities around the country.



 
The cost involves money for consultation, a fee for administering the shot and vaccine. Dr. Alex Layoo, the Pader District Health Officer, says several lives will be saved through routine immunization. Currently, only traveling to certain countries requiring yellow fever vaccination certificates such as Tanzania and South Africa are vaccinated.



 
Yellow fever virus is transmitted by infected mosquitoes, the most common species being Aedes aegypti - the same mosquito that spreads the Zika virus.  Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.