Uganda starts nationwide polio vaccination exercise

A child's finger is marked after receiving a polio vaccine in Kampala, Uganda, on Jan. 14, 2022. (Xinhua/Nicholas Kajoba)

A child’s finger is marked after receiving a polio vaccine in Kampala, Uganda, on Jan. 14, 2022.(PHOTO/Xinhua/Nicholas Kajoba)

KAMPALA, November  — Uganda on Friday started a nationwide door to door polio vaccination exercise targeting 8.7 million children aged below five years.

The exercise is not carried out in the districts of Mubende, Kassanda, Wakiso, Mukono and Kampala capital city because of the ongoing Ebola outbreak.

In Nyimbwa sub-county, Luwero district, the district health workers accompanied by village health teams, walked house to house as they checked for children below five years and gave them oral polio vaccines.

Village health team head Nyimbwa sub-county, Mathias Kasibante, told Xinhua in an interview that so far, the exercise is going on well and most parents are willing to let their children be immunized.

“We have been moving door to door in the sub-county to ensure that there’s no child below five years who doesn’t get the polio vaccines. Since the exercise is for more days, we shall keep mobilizing more villages to bring their children for immunization,” he said.

Margaret Nagawa of Nyimbwa village, said she supports the polio immunization exercise because it will get rid of polio in the children.

“Let’s all bring our children below five years to get immunized. We don’t want that polio disease to come back again and we get disabled children,” she said.

This is the second round of polio vaccination after the first was held in January this year.

Uganda in August last year reported a polio outbreak in the country after samples from fecal matter collected in the capital Kampala tested positive.

The country was certified polio-free in October 2006 by the World Health Organization (WHO) after having reported no indigenous polio cases for 10 years.

Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus that mainly affects children under five years old, according to WHO. The virus is transmitted by the fecal-oral route and by aerosol droplets.

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