By Sandra Birungi
The mass immunization that shook the country over the weekend has been extended to five days after many children across the country were not immunized.
At first, it was supposed to be a three-day job but after the huge turn ups at the immunizing centers; the ministry of health has now decided to extend it to five days. About 6 million children were immunized meaning it managed to cover up to 90% of the children country-wide.
“The turn-up has been amazing, with health workers working until 7pm due to a massive turn- up of children being brought for immunization, Ms Catherine Ntabadde, the URCS senior spokesperson, said. She added saying “The fact that there have been real cases of polio and measles seems to be the driving factor of most parents to embrace the immunization.”
Ms Rukia Mbaziira, ministry of health spokesperson, said: “The performance indicates that we are doing well according to the World Health Organization standards. We are going with a more packed exercise for five more days to have parents from well performing districts encourage those from poor performing districts.”
Namuwongo Community Center post registered 200 children for immunization on Saturday, 170 on Sunday and nearly 70 on Monday. Kiswa Health Center III in Bugoloobi by Monday mid-morning had more than 70 children already immunized.
The rural and hard-to-reach areas had the biggest turn up with up to 90% of the children immunized. In the 45 districts where outbreaks of measles and polio had earlier been reported, all had a coverage rate of above 90 per cent.
Dokolo, Busia and Lira districts which have in the past years been rated poor performers emerged the best in the campaign.
Meanwhile, several challenges were faced by the immunizing committee especially in the districts of Tororo and Kapchorwa where religious leaders from local religious sects like Apostles of the Moon and Enjiri who refused their followers from going for the immunization because they believed in divine healing not medical healing.