At least 3,015 children below two years of age have missed out on the routine immunization in Kaberamaido district because of the failure of their parents to trek long distances to the immunization centers.
The children missed out on the first and third doses of Diphtheria, Tetanus, whooping cough, Hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenza type b- given at six weeks and 14 weeks and measles vaccine given at nine months.
The new findings are contained in the ‘situation analysis- problem identification and priority setting’ of the health department in the district.
The report was tabled during the council sitting on Wednesday in a private members’ motion introduced by John Willy Ejwau and Judith Issa.
The report showed that most of the affected areas are new sub-counties without health facilities. They include Oriamo, carved out of Alwa sub-county, Okile sub-county and Kaberamaido and Ochero sub-counties, their health facilities were carved into the town councils.
Ejwau, the Oriamo sub-county male councillor, said that his sub-county continues to seek health services from Alwa, the mother sub-county. He says that more than 15,000 people are cut off by rising water levels from Lake Kyoga.
He added that even if parents were willing to walk to Alwa HC111, the floods couldn’t allow them. In Oriamo sub-county, 720 children missed measles vaccination and 664 missed DPT3 vaccine.
Dr. James Daniel Odongo, the Kaberamaido District Health Officer, said that besides the absence of funds to construct health facilities in the said sub-counties, Okile sub-county has no land.
“The community has encroached on the land that was supposed to host the health facility in Okile. We are still looking for land but for other sub-counties, we shall work on them in a phased manner depending on how funds will be availed”, he said.
According to the government policy on health, every sub-county is required to have HC111 to enable access to health services by the community. At HC111, immunization and maternal health services are provided fully.
Currently, Uganda is fighting an outbreak of Polio and Measles diseases among children. The two are among the eight immunizable diseases in the country.