The leadership of Kisoro district has today been forced to halt plans to launch the third Mass Covid-19 Vaccination campaign targeting communities with refugees following the failure by Government to deliver vaccines on time.
A total of 300,000 vaccines that include Johnson and Johnson (J&J) and Pfizer were meant to have arrived in the district for today’s launch at Kisoro Mosque in Kisoro Municipality.
Assistant District Health Officer (ADHO) in-charge of maternal health and immunization Annet Dusabe confirmed the development.
According to Dusabe, the district has been engaged in a week long preparation for the campaign that was set to begin today.
The campaign is seeking to target communities hosting Congolese asylum seekers who fled from their country due to fighting between Government forces and M23 rebels.
The Kisoro district Task Force heading by Kisoro Resident District Commissioner Hajji Shafiq Sekandi says they will put major focus on Bunagana and Nyakabande Sub Counties.
At least 30,000 Congolese are temporarily living on people’s verandahs in Bunagana town council while others have been given shelter in homes across the areas of Rukundo, Nyarubuye, Muramba and Busanza Sub Counties.
The development comes following the resurgence of Covid-19 among Congolese asylum seekers at the Nyakabande transit camp.
160 people have tested positive for Covid-19 out of 646 tests conducted.
At least 98 cases are in Isolation and are being managed by health professionals.
Reliable sources have confirmed that, Camp Commandant working Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Daniel Kisaamo is also recovering from Covid-19.
Hajji Shafiq Sekandi says, there is need to identify another space in the holding center to manage positive cases of Covid-19.
According to Sekandi, majority of the Congolese who fled into Uganda have never receive a single covid-19 jab which puts the entire population of Kisoro at risk.
He commended Kisoro residents who embrace the first covid -19 mass vaccination campaign in November 2021 resulting in over 80% coverage.
“I am greatly relieved that the people of Kisoro managed to get their first and for some their second jab of covid -19 because the situation would be different right now, if people had not turned up, Sekandi explained.
He further called on the general public, especially those who did not get their second jab as well as a boaster doze to get vaccinated while the opportunity is still available.
“At first people had their misconceptions about the vaccine but it has proven to be effective and has left most Ugandans health and strong so please protect yourselves by getting vaccinated”, Sekandi said
Assistant Program Manager Uganda National Expanded Program on Immunization (UNEPI) Dr. Micheal Baganizi says Government does not desire to have situation that will require another lockdown as a remedy.
Dr. Baganizi said all school going children will not be included in this campaign unless their parents find it necessary and decide to take them to vaccination points voluntarily.
2nd Mass Campaign flops
The Kisoro district Health Officer (DHO) Dr. Steven Nsabiyumva says Kisoro district was unable to vaccinate the intended numbers during the second mass campaign back in March 2022, only managing to achieve 29% coverage.
According to Dr. Nsabiyumva, delays by Government to send vaccines to Kisoro for people getting their second jab resulted in loss of interest.