Health Ministry Advises Masaka Residents Over Yellow Fever

1222 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
Dr. Ruth Acen ,the Director General of Health Services says the Ministry of health is cautioning residents living near forests to be careful. She says they should even avoid going to forests because they are habitats for mosquitoes that transmit the yellow fever virus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and Ministry of Health are advising people in Masaka and Kalangala to avoid movement to forested areas as one of the measures to avoid yellow fever.

In March this year, Health Ministry, World Health Organization and Center For Disease control confirmed outbreak of Yellow Fever in Masaka, Kalangala and Rukungiri. 

At least six deaths of the 39 confirmed cases were recorded in Masaka, while others were treated at Masaka hospital and later discharged.

In both Kalangala and Rukungiri, one death resulting from yellow fever was recorded from each one of the district.

As result, the Ministry of Health has rolled out mass vaccination exercise in these districts against yellow fever.  Dr. Ruth Acen ,the Director General of Health Services says the Ministry of health is cautioning residents living near forests to be careful.

She says they should even avoid going to forests because they are habitats for mosquitoes that transmit the yellow fever virus.

Mukungwe and Buwunga sub counties in Masaka and in Kalangala where yellow fever outbreak were confirmed have huge forest covers.

Dr. Acen says residents should stop going near forests in the morning and late evening.

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While speaking at the official of mass yellow fever vaccination in Masaka on Friday, Dr. Wondimagegnhu Alemu, the Country representative World Health Organization asked the government of Uganda to include yellow fever vaccination in the routine immunization.

Dr. Alemu explains that since the risk is higher than ever before, routine immunization of people against yellow fever would stem the scourge.

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Elioda Tumwesigye, the Minister of Health says government will ensure that yellow fever vaccination will be included in the routine immunization starting in the 2016/2017 financial year. He says currently it is not possible because the process of securing the vaccines is hard.

However said the Health Ministry has rolled out sensitization campaigns to educate the masses on how to avoid the disease.

Meanwhile, Joseph Ssekasamba, the Masaka Deputy RDC says they are investigating a group of politicians sabotaging the vaccination. He says they have received complaints that some politicians are discouraging residents from taking the yellow fever shot on ground that the drug is not safe and that Government is forcefully recruiting them to join the NRM party.

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About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.