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Kitgum Hits Measles-Rubella Vaccination Target

Dr Patrick Asibo, who is supervising the campaign in Kitgum district told URN this morning that his team surpassed the health Ministry’s target and vaccinated a total of 104,069 children [109.9 percent] in the five days’ exercise.
pupils queue to receieve measles-rubella vaccines at the launch of the five days mass immunization against polio, rubella and measles in kitgum district on tuesday. photo by julius ocungi
Kitgum District has achieved targets of the national immunization campaign of children against the deadly Measles and Rubella diseases.

The Ministry of Health had set a target for 94,686 children to be vaccinated in the district against measles and rubella in the five days’ mass immunization exercise.

Dr Patrick Asibo, who is supervising the campaign in Kitgum district, says that the team surpassed the health Ministry’s target and vaccinated a total of 104,069 children during the five days’ exercise.

He says they achieved 100 percent target in most of the sub-counties with exception of Mucwini and Labongo Amida, where only 98 percent of children had been vaccinated by Sunday. 

“We have seen success with immunization exercise on measles and rubella in Kitgum district, we hit more than the Ministry of Health target. This was due to commitment by the team and the community members following sensitization,” Dr Asibo said.

Dr Asibo, however, says that only 40,531 children [91 percent] were immunized against polio, short of the targeted 45,141 children.

He says the vaccination against polio has not been achieved 100 percent in eight sub-counties within the district. They include Central Division, Mucwini, Lagoro, Pandowng Division, Kitgum matidi, labongo Amida, Labongo Layamo and Labongo Akwang.

Dr Asibo notes that they expect the one-day extension by Ministry of Health will help to push coverage to 90 percent in the sub-counties before routine vaccination is restored at health facilities.

Although the exercise went on well, incidences of resistances from parents against the vaccines were registered by the vaccination team in the sub-counties of Mucwini and Omiya anyima.

On Sunday, the health Ministry extended the mass immunization exercise in other parts of the country by one day [October 1] while areas of Mukono, Kampala and Wakiso to October 22nd.

Uganda has experienced outbreaks of rubella and measles in the recent past in more than 60 districts.

In Kitgum district alone, a total of 60 children were affected by measles early last month after an outbreak.

Government expects about 18 million children aged 9 months to 15 years to benefit from the ongoing mass immunization campaign towards eradication of polio, measles and congenital rubella infection. 

The campaign is funded by the Government of Uganda; GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance; the United Nations Children’s Fund; and the World Health Organization (WHO).