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Cult Followers Block Children from Measles-Rubella Immunization in Luweero

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Ronald Mulumba, the LCI Chairman of Nakasejere village says that the parents directed their children to stay home in order to evade immunization teams. Mulumba explains that the cult followers detest immunization, National Identification registration, Elections, medical treatment and other government programmes which they brand satanic.
Luweero Deputy RDC Mariam Kagaiga immunising a child at Jodak Primary School as exercise kick off in Luweero today

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More than 70 pupils of Liberty Junior Academy in Luweero district have reportedly been blocked from participating in the ongoing Measles-Rubella immunization exercise by their parents. It is alleged that the parents subscribe to a religious sect which forbids immunization. 

The Measles-Rubella immunization and polio vaccination which kicked off today will run for five days, in schools, for the first three days and in communities, over the weekend. However, a team sent to immunize children at Nakasajere village in Kamira sub-county found no child at Liberty Junior Primary school. 

The school was constructed by the Abajiiri cult, and allegedly hosts only children of members who subscribe to the sect.  The school has children from the villages of Makonkonyigo and Kakoola.   

Ronald Mulumba the LCI Chairman of Nakasejere village says that the village council officials and health workers arrived at the school at around 11;30am but found it closed. 

Mulumba says they were told that the parents directed their children to stay home in order to evade immunization teams. Mulumba explains that the cult followers detest immunization, National Identification registration, Elections, medical treatment and other government programmes which they brand satanic. 

The cult leaders insist that aby activity that requires registration or counting of people, is a symbolic representation of the 666 mark also known as the number of the beast, against which they were cautioned in the Book of Revelation. 

Abdullah Serugo, the Chairman of Makonkonyigo village says that members of the sect have been sensitized the cult followers to embrace government programmes in vain.

The Chairperson of Luweero District Health Committee Patrick Mwesigye said they are looking for another strategy to ensure that no child is left out. Mwesigye says that the sub-county has recorded an upsurge in measles recently and blamed this on such groups of people who shun the immunization. 

Luweero District Health Officer Dr Innocent Nkonwa warns that members of the sect will be arrested and forced to surrender the children for immunization. 

//Cue in; “Everyone... 

Cue out…in the children.”//          

Luganda // Cue in; “Eddini ddini…   

Cue out…obuzibu maaso.”// 

The development is a blow to a target set earlier by Luweero District authorities, to immunize up to 50,000 children per day and 213,000 children by the end of the campaign. 

The immunization act mandates patent of children in the age bracket of one day to five years to ensure that they are immunized against all immunisable diseases. The law stipulates that any person who contravenes the law faces a fine of 1.6 million Shillings, imprisonment for up to two years or both.