Entebbe — Authorities at Entebbe International Airport have intercepted travellers with forged yellow fever cards.
Dr James Eyul, the manager Kazuri Medical Clinic that is responsible for authenticating travellers' yellow fever immunisations cards at Entebbe International Airport told Daily Monitor on Friday that numerous travellers have been found with forged cards yellow fever cards.
"Every day we get many cases of people travelling with forged yellow fever immunisation cards. We normally get between 20 to 35, at times the number goes up to 50," Dr Eyul said.
Dr Eyul didn't disclose the specifics of the suspects as police were still investigating the source of the forged cards.
After the recent outbreak of yellow fever in Angola that claimed over 200 lives and another outbreak in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the ministry of health under the international health regulations issued guidelines that required travellers to produce a valid immunisation certificate against the disease before being allowed to enter or exit Uganda. Uganda is listed among the high risk yellow fever countries.
Dr Eyul said they identify the forged cards according to information on the cards and particular signatures that conmen try to duplicate. "Every vaccine has a specific batch number and there is only one supplier of the vaccine in the country which is authorised by the ministry of health, so it's not easy for the people with forget yellow fever cards to get it," he said.
Dr Eyul said the immunisation against yellow fever currently costs between Shs73,000 and Shs85,000 a dose at the registered immunisation centres.
Daily Monitor understands that the travellers who were found with the forged cards confessed to having got them from Nasser Road, Kampala Capital City Authority with the connivance of some clinics in Kampala, Entebbe and Wakiso areas. .
Dr Eyul said the Airport Medical Centre had put in place a health desk to monitor travellers coming to the country.
"We take a Thermoscan, if your body temperature is above 37 degrees or you are too hot, we take you to the screening room, ask you where you're coming from, if we find you infected or with any suspicious disease, we separate you from other passengers, call up ambulance that is always in place and take you to the isolation wing at Entebbe Hospital for dangerous diseases," he said.
Mr Robert Kalumba, the deputy KCCA spokesman said: "As KCCA,[we don't give people forged cards] we offer services diligently to our customers the authorised places that give out the vaccinations are The Surgery Naguru, Norvik Hospital, Kazuri Medical at Entebbe Airport and KCCA clinics".
The ministry of Health in May cautioned all airlines plying Entebbe International Airport to ensure that their passengers from high risk countries possess the certificate issued 10 days before travel date.
About Yellow Fever
World Health Organisation (WHO) describes Yellow fever as an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. The "yellow" in the name refers to the jaundice that affects some patients. Uganda is also listed as a high risk country.
Signs and symptoms; fever, muscle pain with prominent backache, headache, shivers, loss of appetite, and nausea or vomiting.