House to House National Polio Immunisation set for Friday

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KAMPALA– The Ministry of Health has announced that the National house to house polio immunization campaign will take place from January 14th to 16th 2022 and all children under five (5) years will be immunized.

In August 2021, Uganda confirmed an outbreak of polio, 14 years after the country was declared polio free in 2006 and the new outbreak was declared a public health emergency. 

According to a statement issued by the Director General of Health Services in the Ministry of Health Dr Henry G. Mwebesa, the re-emergency of polio in Uganda was due to reduced immunization rates in the country due to COVID-19 and importation of the virus due to constant cross-border movement involving countries already affected.

The Ministry of Health’s Senior Public Relations Officer (PRO) Emmanuel Ainebyoona disclosed that last year, Uganda received 10 million polio vaccines to vaccinate 8.5 million children. 

Ainebyoona also said that in October last year, the government of Uganda through the Ministry of Health started immunization as a preventive measure against a new strain of poliovirus.

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a crippling and potentially deadly disease caused by the poliovirus that spreads from person to person and can invade an infected person’s brain as well as spinal cord, causing paralysis.

The Center for Disease Control disclosed that Polio can be prevented with a vaccine and Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) is the only polio vaccine that has been given in the United States of America since 2000. The said vaccine is given by a shot in the arm or leg, depending on the person’s age and Oral polio vaccine (OPV) is used in many other countries.

The World Health Organisation and Center for Disease Control recommends that children get four doses of the polio vaccine and they should get one dose at 2 months old, 4 months, 6 through 18 months old, 4 through 6 years old and almost all children (about 99 out of 100) who get all the recommended doses of polio vaccine get protected from polio disease.

According to Center for Disease Control, the first polio vaccine was available in the United States in 1955 and the country has been polio-free since 1979 but polio virus is still a threat in some countries.