Uganda in mass polio immunization following outbreak

Avril 2009. Uganda immunized over 2.3 million children against point in the first round of polio immunization done in 29 high risk districts. This was over the 2.2 million children who had been targeted in this emergency exercise that is in response to an outbreak of polio in Amuru district northern Uganda. 

According to the Minister of State for Health (General Duties) Dr Richard Nduhura, the immunization was very successful as shown by the impressive results recorded. Amuru district which has so far registered seven confirmed polio cases had the highest coverage of 61,996 while Moroto had the lowest at 36,924 children immunized. The unusually low coverage in Moroto district was due to cattle rustling and wildfires that happened during the immunization campaign.

There were many challenges faced especially in Kampala and hard work on the initiative since1995. The last child confirmed to have had wild polio Infection was in 1996. And due to sustained absence of wild polio virus infections, a good system for identification and investigation of paralysed children, Uganda was certified free of indigenous wild poliovirus transmission in October 2006.

The Ministry of Health with technical and financial support from WHO and UNICEF conducted supplementary polio immunization campaign on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th June 2008 . An overall average of 99% was obtained for the 1st round with a range of 77% in Mbarara to 114% in Kisoro District. All districts, except Mbarara achieved at least 85% coverage. A large turn up of children from the DRC at the immunization posts in Uganda resulted in coverage above 100% in the bordering districts.

The 2nd round of SNIDs is scheduled for 6-7 July 2008. Special emphasis will be placed on supporting the districts and sub counties that did not attain the target coverage through advocacy for timely disbursement of funds (which was one of the main contributing factors to the performance in Mbarara district) and intensified social mobilization particularly in the Town Council/ Municipal areas.