Friday, January 14, 2011

Vaccination Troubles in Uganda: A scarce supply of the Yellow Fever Vaccine

As earlier mentioned by Diana, Uganda has been struggling with a Yellow Fever outbreak for the past two months. So far, there have been 51 registered deaths since November.  

Finally, one million doses of the vaccine have arrived to the country. The plan is to start vaccinating on January 22 in the five districts where the outbreak is particularly prevalent Abim, Agago, Pader, Kitgum and Lamwo. 

Here is an interesting quote from the Ugandan Minister of health on the virulence of the disease: “Half of the patients, who enter the toxic stage where blood appears in the vomit and faeces, die of kidney failure within 10 to 14 days. That is why vaccination is the most important preventive measure against it." 

However, despite the excitement arrival of the first 1 million vaccines, the Ministry of Health says they will still be 2.5 million vaccine short what is necessary to stop the outbreak.  The government has had a difficult time securing the vaccine because it is in limited supply. The Ministry of health is currently waiting for laboratory test results from five other regions in Uganda which are suspected of having Yellow Fever but have not yet been confirmed. If confirmed, then there will be a large need to secure more resources to help stop the spread of Yellow Fever.  

I was curious as to why the vaccine was so hard to get ahold of, so I found another article  about why the vaccine was so scarce in Uganda  ( The article states that the medicine is scare and cameroon is also battle Yellow Fever. Unfortunately, though, that is all it said. 

-Lauren Platt


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