Uganda Launches Nationwide Yellow Fever Vaccination Campaign

Author: No Comments Share:

Uganda has initiated a comprehensive yellow fever vaccination campaign to protect its population from the mosquito-borne disease that has been a persistent threat in the region. By the end of April, 12.2 million of the targeted 14 million people had been vaccinated, according to Dr. Michael Baganizi, an immunization official at the Ministry of Health.

The campaign now mandates that all travelers to and from Uganda must carry a yellow fever vaccination card, a move aligned with international health regulations. This requirement is part of a broader strategy to encourage more people to get vaccinated, addressing the pervasive vaccine hesitancy that concerns healthcare providers in the East African nation.

The single-dose vaccine, provided free of charge to Ugandans aged 1 to 60, was administered through various vaccination centers, including schools, universities, hospitals, and local government units. Prior to this campaign, Ugandans had to pay approximately $27 for the yellow fever shot at private clinics.

With a population of 45 million, Uganda is one of 27 African countries classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as high-risk for yellow fever outbreaks. Globally, yellow fever affects around 200,000 people and causes 30,000 deaths annually. Uganda’s most recent outbreak occurred earlier this year in the central districts of Buikwe and Buvuma.

Yellow fever, a viral disease transmitted through mosquito bites, often presents asymptomatically. When symptoms do appear, they can include fever, muscle pain, headache, loss of appetite, and nausea or vomiting, according to WHO.

Uganda’s vaccination drive is part of a global initiative launched in 2017 by WHO and partners like the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), aiming to eliminate yellow fever by 2026. This global strategy aims to protect nearly one billion people across Africa and the Americas. A midterm evaluation published last year reported that by August 2022, 185 million people in high-risk African countries had been vaccinated.

In Uganda, the yellow fever vaccination is often sought by travelers heading to countries such as South Africa, where proof of vaccination is required upon entry. James Odite, a nurse at a private hospital designated as a vaccination center in a Kampala suburb, reported that despite the extensive campaign, hundreds of doses remain unused and will be reserved for future campaigns.

Previous Article

President Bola Tinubu to Address Joint Session of National Assembly on Nigeria’s Democratic Milestones

Next Article

Africa’s Electric Vehicle Revolution: Checkout the Leading Countries

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *