The two Month’s Oral Cholera Vaccination to roll out in May in Six Cholera Hotspot Districts.
Written by Derrick Asaba on April 21, 2021
The Oral Cholera Vaccination campaign in six districts that only receieved a single dose of the Oral cholera vaccines is scheduled to start in May 2021 to complete the doses and ensure full protection of eligible persons.
The districts, which received their first dose in November 2020 are; Busia, Kasese, Obongi, Namayingo, Madi-Okollo and Ntoroko. This was revealed by the minister of State for Health Care, Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu on Wednesday April 21 at the Uganda Media Center.
These are a half of the twelve cholera hotspot districts. The others are; Hoima, Kikuube, Zombo, Buliisa, Nebbi and Pakwach where oral cholera vaccinations targeting vulnerable populations were completed in 2018-2019 that saw eligible persons receive two doses each.
Supplementary with the oral cholera vaccination campaigns in these districts are the WASH interventions in a bid to prevent cholera infections therein. These campaigns have been taking place and is one important activity in the Ministry of Health national cholera strategic plan 2017-2022.
The minister, speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Health was informing the general public about the ongoing heavy rains in various parts of the country that are associated with floods, contamination of water sources and increased growth of vegetation around homes.
Kaducu requested local leaders in the six districts to be covered in May to prepare for the campaign and mobilize their communities to turn up in high numbers to receive the second dose of the oral cholera vaccines.
“To complete the doses and ensure full protection, the ministry of health has imported additional one million oral cholera vaccines to target the same persons that received the first dose. Therefore, we urge leaders in these districts to mobilize vulnerable persons to turn up highly for this activity,” Kaducu said.
Cholera is caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae. The minister further appealed to the public to keep good sanitation and health for it is vital in any country’s development.
“Cholera is an infectious disease that can lead to dehydration and even death if untreated. I appeal to Ugandans to consider good health for it is a major resource for social, economic and personal development and an important dimension of quality of life,” the minister emphasized.
Furthermore, the minister noted that much as there are no ongoing outbreaks of cholera, malaria or typhoid currently, the risk of these outbreaks occurring is extremely high given the heavy rains and floods in some communities.
Against this reasoning, Kaducu advised the general public to always drink boiled or water added to with Chlorine, avoid eating cold foods or drinking fluids packed in used plastic bottles or polythene bags, slash bushes and open water drainage channels around homes among other suggested preventive measures.
The government of Uganda has also made significant improvement in the fight against other preventable diseases like diarrhea. Notably, diarrhea cases have significantly reduced to as low as 1.0% compared to 6.41% of total deaths in 2017 according to the health sector performance report 2019/2020. This reduction is attributed to the introduction of rotavirus vaccines since June 2018 which has previously been responsible for about 40% of all diarrheal cases.