Ministry of Health is set to roll out the pneumococcal vaccine, Sarah Opendi, the state minister for Primary Health Care has revealed. The vaccine is used for vaccinating against Pneumonia amongst children.
The pneumococcal vaccine will officially be inaugurated at Bugabwe primary school in Nakigo Sub County in Iganga District on Saturday this week.
The immunization program is targeting children be five years of age. According to Opendi, the introduction of the pneumococcal vaccine at all health center IIIs across the country will save hundreds children who are affected by the disease annually.
She however, expressed concern that cult leaders in various parts of the country are discouraging their members from immunizing their children.
She says some communities in Bunyoro and Busoga regions are reluctant to immunize their children because of their cultural and traditional beliefs.
Opendi says the failure by several parents to immunize their children had led to a high infant mortality rate. She warned those involved in sabotaging the immunization program saying the long arm of the law will catch up with them. Dr Jacinta Sabiiti, the World Health Organisation country Programs Manager which is providing the vaccines, says that the immunization program is Uganda is faced with challenges such as false propaganda and weak legislation.
She appeals to the local media to sensitize masses to embrace the pneumonia vaccination campaign. Pneumonia is a severe inflammation of the lungs usually caused by a bacterial infection.
It usually presented with cough, fever, shaking of the teeth, nausea and fast heartbeat. About 27,000 children die of pneumonia in Uganda every year, according to statistics released by the health ministry during the commemoration of World Pneumonia Day.