KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) --
Uganda’s ministry of health on Wednesday
announced a door-to-door polio immunization campaign to prevent
the reintroduction of wild polio virus from neighboring
Sserwanja, spokesperson of the ministry of health, told Xinhua
in an interview that the three-day exercise to start on Sept. 9
targets about 5.7 million children under five in the 73
high-risk districts, especially those bordering South Sudan and
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
exercise aims at increasing and sustaining high population
immunity against the crippling disease.
“We intend to
immunize at least 95 percent of the under five years with one
dose of bivalent oral polio vaccine (bOPV) in high risk
districts,” said Nakalika.
teams will move house to house, markets, streets, places of
worship or wherever vaccinating all children in the target age
group,” she added.
Uganda was certified
polio free in October 2006 by World Health Organization after
ten years of not reporting any indigenous polio cases.
However, cases of
wild polio virus are being reported in the neighboring South
Sudan and DRC, where thousands of refugees continue to cross
into the East African country fleeing the violence back home.
Health experts say
this puts Uganda at risk of importing the virus.
experienced outbreaks of the polio virus in February 2009 and
October 2010 imported from South Sudan and Kenya respectively.
In 2013 and early
2014, polio cases were detected and reported in Somalia,
Ethiopia and Kenya.
In January 2016,
Uganda carried out a nationwide door-to-door polio immunization
exercise, targeting some 7.5 million children below five to
avoid the potential spread from neighboring countries.