Uganda with support from the World Health Organization, WHO is set to conduct a polio immunization campaign across the country targeting an estimated 8 million children below 5 years of age.
The Spokesperson in the Ministry of Health Emmanuel Ainebyoona says the national immunization campaign is scheduled for January, 2022. He says the drive will be conducted from house-to-house to ensure that all the targeted population is covered.
The national immunization campaign was recommended by the ministry after a polio variant virus, derived from vaccines was discovered in parts of Kampala and in Neighboring South Sudan.
Dr. Hans Lokaale, The Moroto District Health Officer says the Polio virus which is mutated and attacks people who are not vaccinated.
He encouraged parents to make their children available for vaccination when the ministry rolls out the campaign.
Uganda, according to the ministry of health has never registered a wild polio case in Uganda since November 2010. In the 1990s, the country managed to kick out wild polio and on 25 August 2020, after four years without a single case of wild polio, the African Region became certified free of wild poliovirus.
Paralysis is the most severe symptom associated with polio, because it can lead to permanent disability and death. Between 2 and 10 out of 100 people who have paralysis from poliovirus infection die, because the virus affects the muscles that help them breathe.
The effort to eradicate polio internationally is spearheaded by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a public-private partnership led by national governments with five partners – the World Health Organization -WHO, Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -CDC, the United Nations Children’s Fund -UNICEF and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.