The Parliamentary Forum on Immunisation is calling on government to increase funding to health centre two’s countrywide.
The Primary Health Care funding to Health Centre II is currently at a paltry 100,000 shillings per month. Huda Oleru, Woman MP Yumbe district, says 30 percent of this money is for immunization under the guidelines.
However this money is not sufficient to cover the non-wage recurrent expenditure for even one outreach service to the community.
Oleru suggests that government needs to increase the money to one million shillings to enable the health worker visit different immunization health centres in the districts.
Oleru says that mothers are often forced to travel further to get immunisation for their babies once the health centre IIs’ are not facilitated.
According to the WHO/UNICEF report, 86 percent of the unimmunized children in Africa are in only ten countries and Uganda is among them. Uganda has the highest children in Eastern and Southern Africa.
The number of unimmunized children in Uganda in 2011 was 188,881 and had increased to 153,616 by the end of 2012. According to the Uganda Demographic Health Survey the percentage of children fully immunized stands at 52 percent with measles coverage at 76 percent.
Mathias Kasamba, MP Kakuuto County, says government needs to strengthen the preventive care approach instead of curative. They also demand that the operation budget must be adequate to handle full immunization services.
Oleru and Kasamba, both members of the Immunisation Parliamentary Forum, are also behind the draft private members Bill to provide a law on immunization in Uganda.
The Bill when passed will comprehensively provide for immunization of children, women of reproductive age and other target groups against vaccine preventable diseases, including other emerging diseases.
The Bill suggests that every child must produce an immunization card before admission for pre-primary, primary and day care centre or else they are not admitted.
It also provides that a parent of a child from the age of 10 years to 12 years shall ensure that the child is immunized against human papillomavirus and the state shall provide free vaccine to every Ugandan.
It also states every woman in the age bracket of eighteen years to forty nine years shall ensure that she is fully immunised against Tetanus.
The penalty for anyone who contravenes the above sections is liable upon conviction to a fine of 2.4 million shillings and imprisonment not exceeding six months.