Uganda Embarks On the Second Phase of Oral Cholera Vaccination Exercise

Zombo, 16 December 2019: - As part of its strategic plan to prevent Cholera outbreaks in the country, the Ministry of Health, with support from the World Health Organization (WHO) embarked on round two of the second phase of the Integrated Oral Cholera Vaccination Campaign exercise targeting over 681 270 individuals aged one year and above.

The exercise is taking place in the five (5) Cholera hotspot districts of Bududa, Buliisa, Nebbi, Pakwach and Zombo.

Minister of Health calls for increased OCV uptake

The exercise was launched in Zombo district by the Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng who reminded the community members that vaccination remains one of the most effective public health interventions to prevent diseases.

She said that Uganda has been able to prevent Cholera outbreaks in the country because the government incorporated OCV into the routine immunization program.

Dr Aceng called on all those who qualify to receive the OCV to ensure that they are vaccinated saying, "I implore all leaders and health workers to mobilize the communities for immunization. Cholera is a deadly disease so let us ensure that we vaccinate our loved ones."

The Ministry of Health concluded the first round of the second phase of the Integrated Oral Cholera Vaccination campaign in May 2019. The campaign targeted 680,120 persons living in the cholera hotspots in the five districts of Bududa, Buliisa, Nebbi, Pakwach and Zombo.

The vaccine coverages in the five districts were; 90% in Buliisa, (from the four sub-counties that implemented the exercise) 95% in Bududa, 102% in Nebbi, 106% in Pakwach and 84% in Zombo district.

About the Oral Cholera Vaccine

Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV) is administered orally for persons above one year of age to protect them against Cholera, a severe, potentially epidemic, life-threatening diarrheal disease.

The vaccine is administered in two doses which are given 14 days apart and offers individuals protection of up to 3 years. OCV is used as part of the Ministry of Health's Integrated Cholera prevention and control strategy which includes safe water, improved sanitation, and high-quality case management, and is in line with the on-going Cholera elimination activities.

The vaccine reduces the risk of an individual getting sick with or dying of Cholera.

Heavy rainfall, floods reported in the country

As the rains intensify in the country, there are high possibilities of disease outbreaks, massive flooding, landslides, destructive windstorms, lightning, destruction of feeder roads, washing away of small-bridges and culverts, roofs of many village homes getting blown-off and rotting of root crops.

As a result, the incidence of infectious and communicable diseases such as Malaria, Cholera, Asthma, Typhoid, Bilharzia, Dysentery and Acute Respiratory Infections is likely to rise to outbreak levels in many districts around the country.

Related Links

Prevention for a cholera free world

The Global Task Force on Cholera Control

Oral Cholera Vaccination by the Minister of Health-- Dr Jane Ruth Aceng

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