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Gulu Seeks Extra UGX28m for Mass Measles Vaccination

The district last week received 152 million shillings from the Ministry of Health for the exercise that will start from 15th to 19th of October. However, they argue that the money is inadequate for the 163 vaccination canters in the 16 sub-counties.

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Gulu district health department is seeking an additional 28 million shillings for the mass vaccination against measles and rubella diseases.   

The district last week received 152 million shillings from the Ministry of Health for the exercise that will start from 15th to 19th of October.   

However, they argue that the money is inadequate for the 163 vaccination canters in the 16 sub-counties.   

Rose Jenny Okilangole, the Acting Gulu District Health Officer disclosed that the district had budgeted 187 million shillings for the projected 137,220 children aged zero to five years.    

Okilangole says 28 million shillings is needed for effective implementation of the exercise especially at institutional levels.   It will also be used for monitoring, coordination, supervision, and mobilization and logistics arrangements for the exercise.   

William Onyai, the Gulu District Health Educator says that several contacts are being made with development partners to offer support. 

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Milton Kato, the Gulu District Chief Administrative Officer says the district is seeking for support from development partners since it has no cash in its account for the exercise.

However, Emmanuel Ainebyoona the Ministry of Health spokesperson says the district can request more support from the Uganda Expanded Program for Immunization (UNEPI) to address the plight because the ministry cannot provide more money. 

Measles outbreak was reported in over 56 districts since 2018.  Government announced a five days mass vaccination against the diseases this month.   

According to World Health Organization (WHO), Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons.  Initial symptoms usually appear 10-12 days after infection.    

Common complications include Pneumonia and diarrhoea. Death may occur in up to 5-10% of infected young children in developing countries.  

Rubella is also a contagious viral disease that is transmitted in airborne droplets when infected people sneeze or cough.   

Though milder than measles, when rubella infects a pregnant woman during the first half of her pregnancy, there is danger of fetal death or severe birth defects that especially affect the eyes, ears, heart and brain.