Ugandans have embraced yellow fever vaccination
About 54,750 Ugandans have been vaccinated against Yellow Fever in the twelve-day exercise organised by the National Medical Stores (NMS).
NMS commenced its annual mass vaccination drive at Mayor’s Garden, Entebbe Municipality on August 19. The exercise ended Monday, August 30.
During the exercise, our reporter observed that police and army officers were deployed at the access routes and also within the centre to control the crowds that would start gathering by 7am.
On days when over 3,000 people would turn up such as Saturday, police officers would close the main gate until half the number inside the centre has been vaccinated to decongest the centre.
Sheila Nduhukire, the spokesperson at NMS says the exercise was initially supposed to take five days, ending August 23. However, due to the high public demand, the agency extended the exercise for an additional 7 days.
Only people aged 9 months to 59 years got the jab. However, expectant mothers and people who received their COVID-19 jab less than two weeks ago were not allowed to get the yellow fever jab.
The people who got the jab were from within Entebbe, surrounding areas of Katabi and Kajjansi town councils and Kampala.
Nduhukire says even foreign nationals turned up for the exercise. But the exercise is ring fenced for Ugandans. The yellow fever vaccination is mandatory for any Ugandan wishing to travel outside Uganda.
Normally this vaccination would cost around 50,000 – 100,000 Shillings in private medical facilities.
However, Ndukukire says NMS has been organising the mass vaccination campaign every year so that Ugandans get jabbed not just because they have to travel.
Yellow fever vaccination is one of the most effective and important means of preventing yellow fever-that is transmitted when an infected mosquito bites someone.
The yellow fever endemic countries in Africa include Angola, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad Congo Brazzaville, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo and Equatorial Guinea.
Others are Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali and Mauritania.