While Uganda has tremendously improved immunization coverage, some surveys however indicate declining performance in some communities leading to disease outbreaks.
The demographic and health survey (UDHS) of 2011 showed that about 3.8% of children are not being reached with even one dose of any vaccine, more than 90% are being reached with at least one dose and about 51.5% of all children receive all basic vaccines.
Relatedly, Measles outbreaks continue to occur especially in some districts that host refugees eg. Kamwenge and Hoima. Recently measles outbreak has been confirmed in almost all districts in Busoga region, pointing to a decline in routine immunization coverage in this region. According to Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, the trend is cause of worry especially at a time when Uganda is hosting thousands of refugees.
Globally vaccines have not only reduced the burden of infectious diseases but have also eradicated some killer diseases. Vaccinations have continued to protect nations against measles, meningitis, tuberculosis, tetanus, etc. Small pox, a deadly viral disease has been successfully eradicated using vaccinations and currently the world is positioned to eradicating polio from the globe.
Uganda joined other African Heads of State that endorsed the Addis Declaration on Immunization (ADI), a historic pledge to ensure that everyone in Africa receives the full benefits of immunization. To support Member State implementation of the ADI, a roadmap has been developed in close collaboration with WHO and other immunization partners. Uganda joins other African countries to celebrate AVW 2016 with various country-specific programs including vaccination, provision of a range of life saving health activities, health promotion, community outreach, media activities and more.
The Ministry of Health through UNEPI (Uganda National Expanded Program on Immunization) has strengthened the immunization system through various initiatives including New Vaccine Introduction, supplementary immunization activities, strengthening vaccine supply chain – buying new equipment, training health workers, enhancing awareness on benefits of immunization, and advocacy and communication including the 2016 immunization act.