In the recently concluded Measles-Rubella-Polio campaign conducted by Uganda's Ministry of Health (MoH) with support from GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance and the World Health Organization (WHO), partial results reveal that 18 770 706 (105%) children have so far been vaccinated against Measles and Rubella. This is higher than the nationwide target which was 18 100 000 children. The Measles-Rubella vaccination campaign targeted children above nine months but below fifteen years.
In the same vein, Polio vaccination reached 7 329 635 children (85%) against a target of 8 200 000 children.
These results were revealed to the public by the Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng at a press conference held at the Ministry of Health headquarters in Kampala.
Dr Jane further informed the public that the results came in from 35 754 (95%) vaccination posts out of the 37 398 posts set up countrywide. "We will continue to update the public of the statistics as more results keep trickling in especially regions where the exercise was extended," she said.
The WHO Representative in Uganda, Dr Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam was also present at the press conference and congratulated the Ministry of Health for a successful vaccination campaign noting that vaccination is one of the most effective ways to prevent diseases.
"We cannot afford to be complacent in public health, every life is important, and I would like to express my gratitude to the Government of Uganda for taking immunization seriously," he said.
The vaccination campaign was implemented in order to interrupt the Measles-Rubella outbreaks where over 300 000 cases, 46 000 patients and 587 deaths were reported. 95% of the cases were between 1 and 15 years. The exercise was conducted in all schools and communities countrywide targeting all children under 15 years, whether previously immunized or not.
The campaign was also a launching pad for the combined measles-rubella vaccine into the routine immunization schedule replacing the single measles vaccine. Moving forward, a combined measles-rubella vaccine will be given to children during the routine immunization.
The Minister of Health recognized the support from partners- "I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance; WHO, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Lions Club, Uganda Medical Association and Uganda Pediatric Association for their guidance and support."