Uganda is set to immunize more than 18 million children aged less than 15 years, against measles and rubella. This amounts to 43% of the country’s population. Additionally, 8.2 million children younger than 59 months, which accounts for 20.5% of the population, will also receive the oral polio vaccine.
Uganda has experienced numerous measles outbreaks in the past three years. At the same time, polio remains a threat, given evidence of vaccine-derived strains circulating in neighbouring countries.
The five-day mass immunization campaign, funded by the Government of Uganda, GAVI the Vaccine Alliance, the United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization (WHO) intends to tackle these three public health challenges.
The campaign will be conducted in schools for the first three days and in communities for the last two days and targets all children younger than 15 years, whether previously immunized or not, in order to interrupt circulation of these diseases. This campaign will introduce the measles-rubella vaccine into the country’s routine immunization schedule.
The campaign provides opportunity to intensify sensitisation of communities on measles, rubella and polio as well as disease surveillance and to investigate any unreported but suspected cases of these diseases. This is particularly important because of the declining trend in routine immunization coverage in the country.
Source: WHO, 15 October 2019