Dr. Daniel Kyabayinze the Director Public Health at the Ministry of Health has highlighted that the Ministry is conducting a house-to-house Polio immunization campaign targeting children below 5 years in the districts that were affected by the Ebola Virus.
According to Kyabayinze, the Oral Polio Vaccine (nOPV2) will be used in the five districts of Mubende, Kassanda, Mukono, Kampala and Wakiso from 20th to 30th January.
“The aim of this campaign is to interrupt the transmission of the Polio Virus amongst children below 5 years in these districts that missed out of the previous national Polio immunization campaign last November due to the Ebola outbreak” the statement added.
The Health Ministry is implementing this house–to-house Polio vaccination campaign lately as a response to the declaration of a Polio Outbreak in Uganda that occurred in August 2021.
The World Health Organization defines Polio as a highly infectious viral disease that largely affects children under 5 years of age when it multiplies in the intestines and then invade the nervous system to cause paralysis.
Poliomyelitis as it’s also called is transmitted by person-to-person through the faecal-oral route or less frequently by contaminated water or food.
The most severe symptom of Polio is paralysis but it also has symptoms like fever, decreased appetite, nausea, sore throat malaise and constipation
On 21st July 2021, Uganda confirmed Polio viruses from two samples collected on June 1st from the sewage plants in Bugolobi and Lubigi which are two of the sentinel environment surveillance sites in Kampala. This posed another health threat amidst the Covid19 pandemic.
While commemorating the World Polio Day in 2022, the Minister of Health Jane Ruth Aceng launched the door-to-door vaccination campaign which would also work as the second response to the circulating vaccine derived Polio virus type 2 detected in the previous year.
As per the Ministry, the main factors that may have led to the ongoing Polio outbreak include among others the impact of the Covid19 pandemic that reduced routine immunization and also the rate of cross-border movements within the regions currently affected by the outbreaks.
The Ministry appealed to all parents, caretakers and teachers to ensure that all children below 5 years get vaccinated during the upcoming national house to house immunization campaign that will last for 10 days.
Much as Polio is such a deadly and incurable disease, experts say it is effectively preventable through immunization.