KOBOKO. An estimated 2000 children in Koboko district are said not to have been vaccinated against measles as the disease continues to ravage in communities in the district.
This was confirmed to West Nile Web by assistant district health officer (DHO), Ms Rachel Witro who is also the in-charge of maternal child health and nursing in the district.
“We recognize that there is measles outbreak in the district now and we want to acknowledge this as a serious concern considering the fact that measles is a very deadly disease”, Witro said.
She said the measles vaccination coverage in the district is very low despite sustained awareness campaigns created, attributing it to laxity and poor attitude of some parents.
Currently, Koboko district’s measles vaccination coverage stands at 68 per cent which is far below the national target of 90 per cent.
The measles outbreak concern was presented to Koboko district council last Thursday by the district secretary for social service, Ms Grace Goro who wanted it debated and action was taken against it.
Ms Goro said there is no isolation for the disease in the health facilities in the district which can make other people to easily contract it as it is an airborne disease.
Witro stated that the un-immunized children are at a high risk of contracting measles as their bodies cannot fight the disease due to low immunity.
“The main concern here is how to get these un-immunized children in order to be immunized so that they are protected from this outbreak”, she said.
She said that the dilemma remains about the underaged children especially those below six months who are not supposed to get the vaccine at that age.
She called upon parents to report measles cases immediately to the health facilities so that it is managed promptly.
Traditional myths that bar measles positive children from drinking water, bathing and not eating foods rich in proteins have however hampered the fight as the children end up dying due to weakened immunity.
Common symptoms of measles include diarrhoea, sores in the mouth, loss of appetite, running nose, skin rash, high body temperature, aches and pains and red eyes that may be sensitive to light.
Health officials said the outbreak has also come at a time when the measles vaccines in health centres across the district are in shortage. Mass vaccination against the disease is set for September this year.