Uganda Implements New Yellow Fever Vaccination Guidelines

1678 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Professor Anthony Mbonye, the Director General Health Services, says they started implementing the amendments to the International Health Regulations 2005 two months ago.

Uganda has embraced the new guidelines from the World Health Organisation-WHO on yellow fever vaccination. On July 11, 2016, WHO enforced amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005), saying there is no need for a booster dose for those already vaccinated against yellow fever.

The amendment changed the period of validity of yellow fever vaccination and protection provided by the vaccine against infection from ten years to life time. .

Professor Anthony Mbonye, the Director General Health Services, says they started implementing amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005) two months ago. He encouraged all Ugandans who haven't been vaccinated for yellow fever to do so since it is only once in a lifetime. 

Mbonye says currently they indicate on the yellow fever certificates for life instead of ten years like the case has been in the past. The changes by the WHO are based on recommendations by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization. 

The experts conducted a scientific review and analysis of evidence on issues concerning vaccination against yellow fever in 2014. The experts concluded that a single dose of yellow fever vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained immunity and lifelong protection against the disease. 

According to WHO, Uganda is at risk of the yellow fever virus since it is situated in the "yellow fever belt" of Africa. The Yellow Fever outbreak in the country was reported in December 2011. The affected districts are in south-western Uganda close to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania, according to WHO.

Yellow fever is the only disease specified in the International Health Regulations (2005) for which countries may require proof of vaccination from travelers as a condition of entry.


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.