Kitgum Health Department Struggles To Store Vaccines

1942 Views Kitgum, Uganda

In short
Dr. Geoffrey Akena, the Medical superintendent Kitgum Hospital, says they are currently using three small freezers in the hospital cold room to prevent the vaccines from going bad.

Kitgum district local government is struggling to store vaccines following a power surge that affected the refrigerator in the main store. 



According to information obtained by URN, the refrigerator stopped operating two weeks ago.
 
 
Dr. Geoffrey Akena, the Medical superintendent Kitgum Hospital, says they are currently using three small freezers in the hospital cold room to prevent the vaccines from going bad.
 
 
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However, the Kitgum hospital generator is switched off at 10Pm during power outages. Dr. Akena says some of the vaccines used for routine immunization of new born babies against six killer diseases including Measles, Polio and Tetanus had to be taken to safety in lower health facilities that are equipped with solar power.
 

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The latest Auditor General's report says human drugs in Kitgum district are stored on cold bare floors instead of pallets to prevent moisture from affecting them. 



According to the Center for Disease Control-CDC, exposure of vaccines to temperatures outside the recommended ranges can decrease their potency and reduce the effectiveness and protection they provide.
 
 
Storage and handling errors can cost thousands of dollars in wasted vaccine and revaccination. Errors can also result in the loss of patient confidence when repeat doses are required. 

 

About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.