KAMPALA – Ministry of Health (MoH) has urged schools to make immunization cards compulsory to every pupil as a school requirement.
This was on May 6, during the meeting held to discuss sustainable ways of financing and improving immunization coverage in the country
This was under the theme “Sustainable Immunization Financing as a pathway to achieving Universal Health Coverage.”
Dr Diana Atwine, the Permanent Secretary at the MoH said schools should make it compulsory for every child in the immunization age bracket to present their immunization card school.
“Every child whether nursery school or Primary school must provide a card as a requirement,” she said.
Dr Atwine added that those found with no cards, “the ministry shall make arrangements and immunize these pupils without fail.”
She added that the ministry shall also deal with those that get immunize and do not complete the dozes.
“The health ministry is finalizing a proposal through which the Ministry of education will support immunization coverage in the country,” she said
Dr Andrew Bakainage the Advisor- Immunization and Emergencies urged government to make it mandatory for every child and draft guidelines for implementation. “It is not optional,” he said.
“We need to regularize the act and draft guidelines. We can only implement this with operational guidelines,” he added.
Permanent Secretary Atwine said “Regulations will allow us to operationalize the immunization fund.”
Uganda National Expanded Program on Immunization recognizes immunisable diseases in infants and expectant mothers which include Tuberculosis, Polio, Whooping cough, Diphtheris, Tetanus, measles, Neonatal Tetanus, Hepatitis B infection, Influenzae infection, among others.
According to the 2015 WHO and UNICEF estimates, the national coverage for DPT3 was 78% and measles was at 82% which shows that 22% and 18% respectively of the children are still missed for these vital vaccines. Hence Uganda is ranked among countries with the highest number of unimmunized children.