Parents in Uganda who don’t immunize children to face arrest: Government

The Ugandan Minister of State for Primary Health Care, Dr. Moriku Joyce Kaducu has revealed that the government will roll out another nationwide immunization exercise to allow those that missed out due to the challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic early this year.

The immunization exercise will be done under the Integrated Child Health Days (ICHD) whose purpose is to, among others, consolidate the resolve of the government to minimize preventable morbidity, mortality and disability due to diarrhea, pneumonia, measles, tetanus, tuberculosis, infections of the throat and chest. Dr Kaducu Tuesday told journalists that the government will have to vaccinate over 17 million children, among others, that missed out due the lockdown imposed early this year to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

“The Integrated Child Health Activities October 2020 follows two disruptions in October 2019 due to Measles-Rubella campaign and April 2020 due to COVID 19 lockdown. As a consequence, there is a backlog of; 1.2M children aged 10 and 11 years who need vaccination against cancer of the cervix [and] 17.3M children below 15 years who need deworming to prevent blood loss to worms,” Dr Kaducu said.

The Commissioner in-charge Child Health, Dr Jessica Nsungwa Sabiti, revealed that the government intends to prosecute all parents who decline to immunize their children in case the sensitization is not adhered to.

“Our main aim is to educate people and tell them the importance of vaccination and this is going to be very critical because tomorrow when the vaccine for COVID comes and finds these kinds of people unwilling to be vaccinated[then] we are going to have a big problem,” Dr Sabiti said.

“So in the future that means you can be persecuted. So once we get the law aligned, it will become very difficult for people who have not had vaccination to have school entry and may not also have access to other social services like health services,” she added.

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