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Yellow Fever vaccination campaign to be launched in Lira


Dr Diana Atwiine, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health has revealed that this year’s Yellow Fever vaccination campaign will be launched on June 8th in Lira district in Northern Uganda.

“All the preparations are done, after the launch, we will start the vaccination officially the next day in the 6 regions in that area. We have also partnered with our health teams and partners to make sure that we reach everyone who wants to get vaccinated,”. Atwiine highlighted.

Dr. Atwiine made these remarks at the official opening of the orientation of media on the Yellow Fever preventive mass vaccination campaign in Kampala on Tuesday.

She also reechoed that the vaccines that are to be rolled out are safe and they have undergone vigorous processes of testing and retesting globally by experts.

“We can’t roll out a vaccine that is dangerous to the lives of the general public because our main purpose as the Health Ministry is to prevent diseases, protect the lives of people, and inform the public so that they make the right choice in regards to disease prevention” she asserted.

At the orientation, Dr Atwiine noted that the media are more blessed in issues of informing and educating the masses than them and this is why they were contacted to relay accurate information to the public.

The burden of yellow fever in Africa is estimated at 84,000–170,000 severe cases and 29,000–60,000 deaths annually and Uganda is lately classified as a Yellow Fever endemic high-risk country by the World Health governing body.

Currently, there is low population immunity in Uganda and that’s why MOH introduced Yellow Fever into the vaccination routine in Oct 2022 and has planned to conduct these phased campaigns.

Charles Muhumuza the UNEPI, communication officer noted that this immunization program is to be implemented in three phases because these vaccines are lately unavailable internationally.

“Phase one is to be implemented in June 2023, the next will be in October and the final one in 2024” he highlighted.

The first phase will cover an age group of 9 months-60 years, a Population equivalent to 13,397,640 in 6 regions of Northern Uganda. The campaign will involve fixed vaccination posts at the village level and it shall be implemented in 5 days.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Yellow fever is a vector-borne illness caused by a flavivirus and It’s one of the viral hemorrhagic fevers which has a high case fatality rate.

The WHO further details that the natural hosts of the Yellow Fever virus in forest areas are non-human primates, usually monkeys plus chimpanzees, and the incubation period is typically 3-6 days.

Yellow Fever patients develop symptoms like High fever and body systems affected, Jaundice, abdominal pain, vomiting, and Bleeding: in the mouth, nose, eyes, or stomach, Kidney function deteriorates and research has it that half of the patients who enter the toxic phase die within 10 – 14 days.

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