FOUR MILLION UGANDAN CHILDREN TO BE IMMUNIZED AGAINST POLIO

By Joyce Namutebi

KAMPALA, Uganda's Ministry of Health is targeting to immunize about four million children against polio in 57 high risk districts located along Uganda’s borders.

The three-day, door-to door campaign will be carried out in districts mainly bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo (drc) and South Sudan, the ministry's communications officer, Rukia Nakamatte, said here Thursday.

The exercise, which begins Jan 22, targets children aged from zero to five years, she said.

“There are some polio cases which have been reported in South Sudan and this puts Uganda at risk because we share a border,” she explained.

She also noted that there were very many South Sudanese coming into Uganda, with some reaching as far as Kampala.

“We have trained health workers who are going to move door-to-door, moving with a village Health Team member or LC 1 chairperson,” she said.

Meanwhile, Uganda will also mark World Leprosy Day on Jan 21. Leprosy was documented in the medical institutions in Uganda in the early 20th Century and is one of the oldest known infectious diseases in Uganda.

Countrywide, about 300 new Leprosy cases of whom about 10 per cent are children below 15 years, are detected every year. The Northern, North Western, South Eastern and Eastern regions contribute more than 80 per cent of all the Leprosy cases detected each year, Nakamatte said.

The treatment for Leprosy, all of which is taken orally, is available free in all government hospitals, she said. The treatment lasts six to 12 months depending on the disease classification

Source: NEW VISION

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