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ACCELERATE COVID19 VACCINATION CAMPAIGNS IN YOUR DISTRICTS TO MINIMIZE DEATH, SEVERE DISEASE AND OVERALL DISEASE BURDEN- DR DIANA ATWINE

By Goodluck Musinguzi

Ministry of Health has launched the Covid19 vaccination campaigns in the different sub-regions of Uganda targeting district leaders to further energize them and to pick their feedback on the ongoing vaccination exercise.

Dr. Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health launched the campaign of Greater Kampala in Mpigi district while that of Masaka Subregion was held in Kalungu district.

“#COVID19 Vaccination campaign launch for greater Kampala in Mpigi district this morning and for Masaka Sub-region in Kalungu district. We are mobilizing the district’s leaders per sub-region to further energize them and to pick their feedback on the ongoing vaccination exercise”, said Dr Diana Atwine.

She said leaders have a contract with their voters to make sure they mobilize them to participate in the Covid19 vaccination. The country wants to minimize deaths by vaccinating all the eligible categories. Uganda has so far lost 3,549 people which is not good at all, the daily death being recorded show there is a problem.

The Vaccination strategy will help Uganda to contain the overall disease burden which puts much pressure on the health system. She said the country has opened the social-economic activities which are good but must work hard to reduce the risk of new variants.

Dr. Diana Atwine says in the face of an evolving and increasingly transmissible virus, high
population immunity is essential to achieve this goal, which means vaccinating broadly. Based on current knowledge, this requires fully vaccinating at least 70% of the population, accounting for most adults and adolescents and for the vast majority of those at risk of serious disease.

Meanwhile, Unicef writes about vaccination in Kamwenge district.

As one of the Government’s strategies to curb the COVID-19 pandemic in Uganda, the Ministry of Health developed an Accelerated Mass COVID-19 Vaccination (AMCV) Plan to ensure all eligible people aged 18 years and above get vaccinated against COVID-19. The campaign was guided the epidemiological pattern of the COVID-19, availability of operational funds, and vaccines.

The country was divided into 5 Clusters of regions. The size of these Clusters was guided by the number of hotspot districts, vaccines and availability of funds.

Before the AMVC, less than 4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine had been administered. However, by 01st February 2022, over 12 million doses of the vaccine had been administered.

In Kamwenge District western Uganda, COVID-19 testing and mass vaccination campaigns have pushed the virus cases low.

Dr. William Mucunguzi, the district health officer says the population is regularly sensitized on the testing and vaccination, which are all provided free of charge.

COVID-19 vaccination in Uganda, vaccination campaign, COVID 19 vaccines, COVAX
UNICEF Uganda/2021/Wamala

“When the vaccines get to the district, we announce on radio and through different leadership structures, politicians, religious leaders, health workers to let the population know that the vaccines are here. We also tell them about the vaccination centres and the times the exercises will be conducted,” .

he says

Mucunguzi reveals that the district which started with five COVID-19 testing centres now has 20 with an aim of bringing services closer to the people. “We have even gone to health centre IIs for as long as we have the required staff to support the vaccination. People now take vaccination against COVID-19 as something that is going to save them and help open up the entire economy,” he explains.

On rapid testing, the district health officer says that all health centre IIIs and above are testing for COVID-19 which has contributed to the reduction of the virus in the communities because positive patients are initiated on treatment immediately. “We continue to conduct testing, and this has helped us break through,” the district health officer further adds.
As of 24 November 2021, 33,100 people had been vaccinated while 347 tests have so far been conducted with 30 confirmed positive cases and 2 deaths.

Kamwenge, a refugee hosting district has been supported by UNICEF to respond to and contain COVID-19 in the community, health facilities, schools, refugee settlements and district premises.

With funding from the United States Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (US BPRM), UNICEF has supported Kamwenge District with infection prevention and control supplies, personal protective equipment.

“UNICEF is our biggest partner and we are very grateful. We get supplies from them in big numbers. This has stabilized the district. When we received PPEs from UNICEF, our health workers had their confidence gained and they comfortably continued to deliver their work,”

Mucunguzi reveals.

He notes that among the items received masks – surgical and N95; gloves – examination and surgical; supplies like disinfectant, chlorine, toilet soap, washing soap, handwashing stations, liquid soap, sanitizers, gumboats.

“If you move around the district premises, in schools, worshipping places, markets and most public places, most of the handwashing stations and supplies used are from UNICEF. What we need to do is re-enforce utilization of all these supplies and encourage communities to adhere to the standard operating procedures,” Mucunguzi.

At Rwamwanja Health Centre III, UNICEF also provided IPC supplies, PPEs and filled oxygen cylinders, thanks to US BPRM funding that made this possible. The health centres serve 87,304 refugees and nationals.

When leaders are seeking office, they promise voters how they will improve health

About Musinguzi Goodluck

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