Ssegawa noted with concern that a big number of pupils in Masaka region are not immunized yet the immunization Act bars schools from enrolling them. The mass immunization campaign that is bankrolled by the World Health Organization at the tune of Shillings 44 billion targets children between nine months and 15 years of age.
Head teachers who admit unimmunized children in
their schools risk being punished, according to Ronald Gyagenda Ssegawa, the Health
Ministry Under Secretary.
He notes that although the Health Ministry has
introduced school registers to track the immunization record of learners,
many school heads are taking it casually.
//Cue in: “Tell head teachers …
Cue out:…it doesn’t help you,”//
He was speaking during a sensitization meeting
of district leaders, technical staff and stakeholders from 10 districts at Mariaflo
hotel in Masaka on Wednesday ahead of the mass immunization campaign for measles,
rubella and polio in schools.
Ssegawa noted with concern that a
big number of pupils in Masaka region are not immunized yet the immunization
Act bars schools from enrolling them. The mass immunization campaign that is
bankrolled by the World Health Organization at the tune of Shillings 44 billion
targets children between nine months and 15 years of age.
Ssegawa asked health workers and leaders who
will oversee the mass immunisation program to ensure to also monitor other
public health issues in the places where they will conduct the immunization
such as ensuring that households own pit latrines, sleep under mosquito nets
and schools have clean compounds.
Dr. Eva Kabwongera, the UNICEF Immunization
Focal Person, says that the immunization campaign has been rescheduled for September
18th- 22 September and September 25th -29th because they realized that schools
will be in the examination season yet they are mostly targeting school going
She also the increasing spread of measles and
rubella, saying the campaign will supplement and strengthen the routine
immunization program. Dr. Kabwongera however raised concern over the high
number of children that don’t complete the immunization cycle, saying this is
dangerous since the immunisabe diseases have expanded from 6 to 11 with the
introduction of rubella.
She disclosed that records only show that 55% children of immunization
age complete the doses, saying the number is working in central region with
about only 47% completing the cycle. The Kalungu District Education Officer, David
Bbale Mukasa, promised to support the program to ensure all children in their
areas are immunized.
//Cue in: “abakulira ebyenjigiriza…
Cue out::..…okugema kusinga okuwonya,”//
The Kalangala District LC V Chairperson,
Willy Lugolobi raised concern over the limited funds allocated to some areas
like Kalangala for the program, saying transport is costly in his area.
//Cue in: “Babade ne outreaches ….
Cue out:.….bona batukibwako”
response, Ronald Gyagenda Ssegawa, the Health Ministry under Secretary asked
all leaders involved in the program to follow the set guidelines on expenditure,
adding that they nothing much they can do about concerns that some districts
were allocated limited resources.
He same asked the concerned parties to table
their concerns for future consideration.