Government is scheduled to introduce vaccination for yellow fever into the routine immunization scheduled, the Minister of State for Health, Hon. Joyce Moriku has said.
The decision follows guidelines by the World Health Organisation, which set criteria of at least two or more yellow fever outbreaks in the country before the country can introduce the immunization.
“Uganda therefore qualifies and has already initiated the process to introduce yellow fever vaccine into routine immunization hopefully before 2018, the proposal is currently before National Immunisation Technical Advisory Group for technical review and recommendation,” Hon. Moriku said.
Hon. Moriku, the Minister of State for Primary Health Care, was today briefing Parliament about yellow fever vaccination in Uganda.
Members debating the Statement wondered why the yellow fever vaccination was a requirement for only travellers and not the general population. They also asked that government regulates charges of the vaccine in private hospitals and clinics.
“This is not an epidemic for now, like it is in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola where mass vaccination is given. In our situation mass vaccination is not recommended,” she added.
The Minister said that yellow fever is not yet included into the national routine immunization programme because stock piles are limited.
She also said that under International Health Regulations, yellow fever vaccination is required for persons leaving areas with high risk of the disease and that it should be given ten days prior to traveling outside the country.
The Ministry has assessed and accredited 15 health facilities to provide yellow fever vaccine, including the KCCA Clinic, Mengo Hospital, Nakasero Hospital, St. Catherine Hospital, Norvik hospital and Kitante Medical Centre, Span Medicare, Victoria Hospital and Victoria Medical Centre – all in Kampala.
Others are Kazuri Medical Centre in Entebbe Rugama Hospital, Kabale Regional hospital, Rushoroza Health Centre IV in Kabale; and Tororo hospital (Tororo) and Masafu Hospital in Busia.
“The Ministry of Health will closely supervise all the health facilities that will get the vaccines from National Medical Stores to ensure zero charges. Only a nominal fee is charged for the vaccination certificates,” she said, adding that, “Other facilities will be assessed and those that meet required criteria will also be able to administer the vaccine.”