Uganda Gets 714,579 Doses of Yellow Fever Vaccine

1617 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The campaign, scheduled to begin in the second week of May, is targeting a population of 698,850 people, aged six months and above in the two districts where the outbreak has been confirmed.

Uganda has received 714,579 doses of yellow fever vaccine for an emergency reactive mass vaccination campaign in Masaka and Rukungiri districts. 

The Vaccines, valued at 643,765 US dollars (over 2 billion Shillings) are paid for by the GAVI Alliance comprising of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

The campaign, scheduled to begin in the second week of May, is targeting a population of 698,850 people, aged six months and above in the two districts where the outbreak has been confirmed. Up to 30 suspected cases and 11 deaths were registered in the two districts since January 2016.

The boost comes a day after the World Health Organisation warned that the outbreak of yellow fever that is devastating Angola has high chances of spreading to neighboring countries.

The viral tropical disease has killed 277 people in Angola while more than 2,000 are infected. However, 38 cases were last month confirmed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, another two were exported to Kenya and one exported to China.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan visited Angola last month and called for the vaccination of every citizen in order to provide the population with the much needed immunity against yellow fever.

According to WHO, there is no specific treatment for yellow fever. However, WHO recommends that patients should be provided with supportive treatment which includes rehydration therapy for dehydration, analgesics for fever, diazepam for restlessness, and bed nets for preventing the spread of infection.

"The importance of carrying out a massive vaccination campaign is to interrupt the transmission. With this exercise, the affected population will be able to achieve immunity against yellow fever," Aida Girma, UNICEF representative in Uganda says.

"Vaccination is the major preventive measure against the disease because it is highly effective," added Dr Wondimagegnehu Alemu, WHO country representative in Uganda.

Yellow fever is a viral infection that is transmitted to humans through a bite from a mosquito carrying the yellow fever virus. It causes fever, yellowing of the eyes, and bleeding from any part of the body.
 

 

About the author

Sylvia Nankya
Sylvia is an Editor and Media Trainer with Uganda Radio Network. She has been a URN staff member since 2013. Sylvia has previously worked as a reporter and news anchor with Radio One (2001-2009) and with Vision Group (2009-2011). Six of her active years in Journalism were spent covering the Parliament of Uganda.

Over the past few years, Sylvia has worked to promote the positive development of societies recovering from conflict through training journalists on choices of stories, how they report issues and use of appropriate language in covering conflict and post-conflict situations.

She is an Alumni of RNTC- Holland, Les Aspin Centre for Government at Marquette University-WI, USA and a Community Solutions Fellow.