YUMBE. Yumbe district council has approved a supplementary budget of Ugandan shillings 356.4 million for mass measles-rubella and Polio vaccination campaign.

The campaign is aimed at reaching all children between the age of 0 -15years for Polio and Measles-rubella vaccines which will run from September 25th-29th, 2019.

While presenting the budget on behalf of the secretary for finance on Friday, Ms Jane Alejo, the secretary for social services said the money they received from World Health Organization (WHO) came with strings attached.

"We are going to use the money for the planned activities of the campaign such as social mobilization, training of health workers and village health team members (VHTs). This campaign will involve all stakeholders because issues of measles and polio are not for one sector," she said.

Mr Toah Sebbi, the councilor representing Yumbe town council said a lot of mobilization needs to be done because people have a negative attitude towards immunization these days.

"If the money is put to right use, the condition of our children will improve and the most important thing that we need is mobilization and sensitization of the community about the campaign," Sebbi said.

Dr Alfred Yayi, the Yumbe district health officer said the ministry has set a high target of 100 percent which means over 300,000 children within the said age bracket have to be reached so that all of them are covered with the vaccine.

Dr Alfred Yayi 26 08 19Dr Alfred Yayi the DHO speaks during the interview in his office. PHOTO BY ROBERT ELEMA

He said there are some cases of measles reported from mainly Lodonga and Kuru sub-counties with few cases from other sub-counties in the district.

"Usually when we suspect one, we take blood samples to the Uganda Virus Research Institute where they normally diagnose it in the laboratory. As of now, we haven't lost anybody but we are worried that the number affected is big," he said.

"Why we are getting cases of measles is because many people over time are not taking their children for vaccination. They bring the children in the beginning but they don't finish the stipulated 9 months for measles vaccination," Yayi added.

He said the vaccination campaign is timely because it is one of the key prevention interventions for measles and Rubella.

Following the campaign, Yayi said they expect the cases to come down and for the measles to be controlled.

Measles is a viral disease that mainly affects children under 5 years but lately, adults of about 20-30years are getting affected by the disease.

Measles has a sister disease referred to as rubella which is also caused by the virus. This virus poses harm to children with lots of complications like high fever, running nose, red eyes and rashes on the skin.