As part of its strategic plan to eliminate Cholera in Uganda, Ministry of Health is set to roll out the Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV) in Cholera prone districts.
The districts that will benefit from this plan – also known as Cholera hotspots are; Hoima, Buliisa, Pakwach, Nebbi, Kasese, Ntoroko, Zombo, Moyo, Busia, Namayingo and Arua.
The vaccination will be done in a phased manner as follows:
- Phase I: Hoima District in May 2018
- Phase II: Buliisa, Pakwach and Nebbi in July 2018
- Phase III: Kasese, Ntoroko, Zombo, Moyo, Busia, Namayingo and Arua in October 2018
With support from the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and GAVI, a total of 360,000 doses of OCV have been procured to vaccinate residents in the 5 sub-counties of Kyangwali, Kabwoya, Buseruka, Bugambe and Kahoora division as well as the refugee population in Kyangwali refugee settlement in Hoima district.
Oral Cholera Vaccine is administered orally for persons above one year to protect them against Cholera, a severe, potentially epidemic, life-threatening diarrheal disease. The vaccine is administered in two doses which are given two weeks apart and offers individuals protection of up to 5 years.
OCV will be used as part of the Ministry of Health’s Integrated Cholera prevention and control strategy (including safe water, improved sanitation, and high-quality case management) and is in line with the on-going Cholera elimination activities. The vaccine reduces the risk of an individual getting sick with or dying of Cholera.
The introduction of this vaccine comes at a time when Hoima District is facing an active Cholera outbreak, which was confirmed in February 2018.
In order to further arrest transmission of Cholera, Ministry of Health and partners continue to undertake the following interventions:
1. Intensified case management and surveillance of Cholera cases
2. Construction of new household latrines and hand washing facilities
3. Distribution of Aqua-tablets in all affected villages
4. Active social mobilization and sensitization of communities on Cholera and its prevention and control measures
The Ministry of Health appeals to the general public to;
1. Boil all drinking water or treat water with Chlorine tablets
2. Wash your hands with soap after using the toilet
3. Wash your hands with soap before eating food
4. Always cover the food after cooking to prevent flies from contaminating the food
5. Wash fruits and vegetables before eating