The Ministry of Health on Thursday rolled out a Polio vaccination exercise targeting about 8,791,710 children below five years.

With the intention of vaccinating all 5-year-old children in 136 districts, the three-day exercise was launched in Wakiso, with a target number of 640,000 eligible children.

Speaking at the launch of the national house-to-house Polio vaccination campaign at Wakiso health center IV, the Minister for State for Health in charge of General Duties, Hon. Anifa Kawooya urged communities to embrace the exercise, stressing the desire to attain a polio-free Uganda.

Imploring all Ugandans in all districts to have all their children under the age of 5 vaccinated against polio, Dr. Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, the WHO country representative said when the population is vaccinated, the probability of finding the poliovirus is almost zero.

Dr. Woldemariam also said that currently, there is no child with polio in Uganda. However, it was noted that vaccination of the population will rule out chances of multiplication and importation of the virus.

In preparation for the exercise, Dr. Mathias Lugoloobi, the Wakiso District Health Officer said health workers and VHTs have received training, and society has been mobilized.  

Dr. Lugoloobi also revealed that the exercise will run in a phased manner, starting with Busiro and then Kyaddondo.

Thanks to partners including Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance that helps vaccinate half the world’s children against deadly and debilitating diseases and UNICEF that promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child in 190 countries and territories, the Ministry of Health will be able to carry on the exercise across the country in a phased manner.