President Museveni has said preventive healthcare is the best, effective and cheapest means of delivering health services to Ugandans.
He said government will continue with programmes aimed at improving the health sector, because an unhealthy labour force cannot support effective national production.
The President made the remarks in speech that was delivered on his behalf by the Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda at the national launch of the Rota virus diarrhea vaccine at Ngogwe sub county in Buikwe District on Tuesday.
The President commended the Rota virus vaccine initiative, noting that Rota virus diarrhea immunization ensures that children are free from infection. He added that the Rota virus is highly preventable since the ways in which it is spread are known and can be avoided through maintaining good hygiene and proper sanitation.
He said the government of Uganda is committed to achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and Vision 2040 of transforming Uganda from a peasant to a modern and prosperous Country.
He however noted that economic transformation can’t be achieved with an inadequate human capital and thus called for concerted and strategic investment in the country’s desired human resource to drive the planned growth and transformation.
“The human resource must be healthy, educated and properly skilled. An educated, skilled and healthy workforce is important for the socio-economic development of a country,” Museveni said.
He said Government will also continue to focus on education and health for all, through massive free education and health programs such as universal education and immunization, respectively for the development of the country.
“Massive immunization programmes have produced more educated and healthier generations. The literacy rate is now 75% and the struggle is to skill these educated people and create jobs for them,” the President said.
Museveni also decried the habit of failing to complete the immunization schedule noting that children who start but do not finish the full doze of immunization do not get the full benefits of the vaccination.
He urged the district officials to prioritize the immunization programs as their own decentralized services in order to curb the vice of incomplete immunization.
Museveni thanked the Development Partners for the support they render to government in improving the health sector.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Aceng said the Rota Virus vaccine has been introduced into the routine immunization schedule and will be administered orally to infants.
She said Rota Virus disease is responsible for causing diarrhea which is among the 10 killer diseases in children under 5 years of age in Uganda. She added that 40% of the cases of children admitted to hospital are due to diarrhea and dehydration caused by diarrhea.
She said the Rota Virus vaccine will enable the children to be protected from acute diarrhea. She called for sensitization of the public about the importance of immunization and also preventive measures of ensuring access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene.
Aceng however, criticized a certain section of the population and religious sects that do not embrace immunization because of their belief, adding that they violate the children’s right to good health.
“According to the immunization act, ‘All Children in Uganda must be immunized for their own good. Therefore, denying a child access to immunization is a crime, and leaders should ensure that this law is enforced,” Aceng said.
Minister Aceng thanked the Development Partners especially GAVI for their support, and urged all the parents to ensure that their children are immunized with the Rota virus vaccine at least 5 times before their first birthday.
Dr. Bayo Fatunmbi of World Health Organization (WHO) on behalf of the United Nations Family, appreciated the Government of Uganda for introducing the Rota virus vaccine. He said the Rota Virus is responsible for causing dehydration in Children from the age of 3- 5 years.
He also noted that access to clean water, hygiene and sanitation is key for prevention of the Rota virus and urged the public to embrace the vaccine adding that it is safe and prevents death.
Wednesday, June 27, 2018
BY DOREEN NASASIRA