Uganda was declared polio free in 2010, but a recent environmental surveillance at Lubigi sewerage plant identified another polio virus in various samples.
After different discussions and research, the Ministry of Health has set a mass vaccination for children aged five and below against the deadly strain of poliovirus circulating in the country and this will be done in December.
The mass vaccination, which will be house-to-house, comes after the government last week received 10 million doses targeting 8.5 million children.
The Ministry of Health spokesperson Mr. Emmanuel Ainebyoona, said the immunization is a preventive measure against a new strain of a polio virus.
At an exercise organized by the Rotary Club of Kampala North at St Stephen’s hospital in Mpererwe on Sunday, Dr Ayena Okello, the director health services Kampala Capital City Authority said that they needed to vaccinate all children because South Sudan and DR Congo are always declaring outbreaks.
Prof Pontiano Kaleebu, the director of Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), told the media recently that the strain of the poliovirus was discovered by their scientists during their routine surveillance.
He said the scientists picked samples from sewage plants of Bugolobi and Lubigi in Kampala in June for laboratory analysis. Part of the analysis was done at UVRI but the final analysis was done in a laboratory in South Africa which on July 21 confirmed the presence of the deadly strain in Uganda.
Dr Immaculate Ampaire, the Deputy Manager of immunization programme, said recently that the vaccine is the only way to protect the children from the strain and prevent a major outbreak.
We’ll be updating you with the exact dates of the vaccination and about any other developments in the story.