17 February 2013

Uganda: Pneumonia Immunisable

Pneumonia and cervical cancer have been added to the list of immunisable and preventable diseases respectively in a move experts say could largely reduce annual infant mortalities and adult deaths.

The campaign, dubbed "preventive health", was launched on February 8 and ends in 2015.

"We recommend that mothers go to health centers III and IV to immunize their children against pneumonia and (for mothers) to be checked for cervical cancer," said junior Health Minister Sarah Kataike Ndoboli recently.

She explained cervical cancer check was intended to cover mothers between 12 and 49 years and girls in schools between eight and 15 years. The number of communicable diseases is reducing from 75% but at a very slow pace and the rate at which non-communicable diseases are increasing is alarming. Diseases like cervical cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and malaria are on the rise.

Immunisation against pneumonia and diarrhoea are among the latest fads among elite health-conscious parents. But they are quite expensive - costing nearly Shs 200,000 in pharmacies.

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