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Karamoja Lifestyles Affect Measles-Rubella Immunization Campaign

Dr Peter Kusolo, the District Health Officer says that while the exercise has been running smoothly for children below five years, those aged 8-15 years, could not be easily captured because a number of them were not in school, and could not willingly go to the community immunization centres.
Patients at Nabilatuk HC1V.

Audio 3

Amudat District Officials have struggled to mobilize herds boys to take part in the ongoing immunization against Measles and Rubella. 

Dr Peter Kusolo, the District Health Officer says that while the exercise has been running smoothly for children below five years, those aged 8-15 years, could not be easily captured because a number of them were not in school, and could not willingly go to the community immunization centres. 

In Amudat, like other districts in Karamoja, boys from eight years spend their time in the kraals grazing cattle.

Karamoja is one of the areas where the campaign was extended for another two days, following heavy rains and floods that disrupted the drive during the initial five days. Under the campaign, Children aged 5-15 years receive only Measles-Rubella vaccine while those under five receive both measles-rubella and polio vaccines. 

According to Dr Kusolo, some sub-counties like Looro, Achorichor, Amudat Town Council and some villages in Karita sub-county had only 45 per cent of the children aged 8-15 years covered in the five days. This implied that the Majority would miss out, had the exercise stopped on Sunday as earlier planned. 

“These are children who are not directly under the control of their parents. They are in the kraals and whenever they see our staff approaching, they take off. We are worried that their conduct may fail us from attaining the 100 per cent target for our children”, Dr Kusolo said. 

However, Amudat Resident District Commissioner, Robert Adiama says that the exercise has been affected by lack of adequate personnel.  He explains that manpower is likely to leave out some of the children in new settlements since they are mobile and live in hard to reach areas. 

//Cue in; “What I am looking at… 

Cue out…left out.”//