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A UPDF Officer immunizes a child in the ongoing mass measles-rubella immunization campaign. DPU photo

UPDF Supports Mass Measles-Rubella Immunization Exercise

posted onOctober 20, 2019

By Kampala Post Reporter

Uganda Peoples' Defence Forces (UPDF) has been working together with the Ministry of health in the mass immunization campaign against Measles, Rubella and Polio.

The UPDF medical team joined the Ministry health workers in Pader and Lira, which are listed among the high risky areas in northern Uganda. Lira District Health Officer, Buchan Ochen said UPDF Medical teams joined the health workers in mobilizing the community and dispensing of the immunization vaccines to the children.

“We thank the UPDF for accepting our call for help in this noble cause. The soldiers have boosted our manpower and we are likely to catch up with the set deadline of 20th Oct 2019 as planned by the Ministry of Health,” Mr Ochen said on Saturday.  Brig.Stephen Mugerwa, the UPDF 5th Division Commander says the 1981 liberation struggle was not only about saving Ugandans from bad governance but it had a wide agenda of liberating Uganda from all kinds of undesirable conditions, poor health inclusive.

"Measles and Rubella are dangerous diseases which can kill toddlers. I therefore urge all comrades and our civilian counterparts to take their children for immunization for a better healthy living and growth,” he emphasized. The 5th Division Medical Health Officer Capt. Dr. Ivan Ndikuno welcomed the move adding that a healthy population is crucial to national security and development.

"It’s one of our constitutional roles as UPDF to support the civilian authority during such activities. We have dispatched our medical personnel to work jointly with the District Health Medical teams to ensure that the exercise benefits all the children below 15 years,” He said. WO II Samuel Alal, the in charge of Lira barracks health center III rallied UPDF families and the civil community well in advance making a landmark turn up in Lira town.

The UPDF team immunized children of Saint Gracious Nursery and primary school, Lira Army Nursery and Primary school and Saint Stephen Nursery School. The team continued to Erute Prisons and helped immunize the children of Erute community.

Uganda set out to immunize more than 18 million children against measles, rubella and Polio, in a mass campaign that kicked off on Tuesday October 15. The five-day mass immunization campaign, funded by the Government of Uganda, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI), the Vaccine Alliance; the United Nations Children’s Fund; and the World Health Organization (WHO); intends to tackle these three public health challenges.

The campaign which is expected to end today October 20, has been conducted in schools and in communities, targets all children younger than 15 years, whether previously immunized or not, in order to interrupt the circulation of these diseases.

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