Uganda used to be Africa’s poster child for immunization coverage. Unfortunately, some of this progress has been eroded over the past years. Measles vaccination in Uganda dropped from 86 % in 2007 to 75% in 2011. DTP3 immunization against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis remains low at 82% compared to vaccination coverage in Rwanda (97%), Tanzania (93%) and Kenya (88%), while dropout rates between DPT1 and DPT3 are the highest in the region at 9 %*. Combined with one of the highest fertility rates in the world at over 6 children per woman, this has left over 150,000 children in Uganda under-vaccinated in 2012.
GAVI Civil Society Strengthening Project
In early 2013, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), in partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) as fund manager, selected MACIS to implement the Civil Society Strengthening Project 2013-14. The project complements the Uganda's National Expanded Program on Immunization (UNEPI) and aims at maximizing the impact of UNEPI by building a functional civil society platform capable of engaging in decision making processes at different levels on health systems strengthening and immunization policies.
Under the Civil Society Immunization Platform (CSIP), MACIS brings together Civil Society Organsiations (CSOs) involved in immunization activities across Uganda to facilitates the exchange of ideas, experiences and solutions to improve immunization coverage in Uganda.
UNEPI and the GAVI Initiative
For 2013-14 alone, GAVI has committed $21m for Uganda's Immunization Systems Strengthening (ISS) and Health Systems Strengthening (HSS) efforts. These funds will support UNEPI to overcome barriers to immunization and increase access to life-saving vaccines in Uganda. MACIS' role in this effort is to maximize the impact of UNEPI through CSOs engagement to ensure that more people have access to life-saving vaccines.
What is Immunization
Immunization is the process whereby a person is made immune or resistant to an infectious disease, typically by the administration of a vaccine. Vaccines stimulate the body's own immune system to protect the person against subsequent infection or disease. Immunization is a proven tool for controlling and eliminating life-threatening infectious diseases and one of the most cost-effective health investments.
When is a child considered fully-vaccinated in Uganda?
Uganda's National Expanded Program on Immunization (UNEPI) recommends the following immunization schedule for Ugandan children:
|Vaccine||Disease||Recommended Immunization Age|
|BCG (Bacille Calmette-Guerin Vaccine)||Tuberculosis||Birth|
|DTwPHibHep (Diphteria and Tetanus with whole cell pertussus, Hib and Hep B Vaccine)||Diphteria, Tetanus, Pertussus (Whooping Cough), Haemophilus Influenza Type B, Hepatitis B||6,10,14 Weeks|
|OPV (Oral Polio Vaccine)||Polio||Birth, 6, 10, 14 Weeks|
|TT (Tetanus Toxoid)||Tetanus||15-49 Years, +4 Weeks, +6 Months, +1 Year|
* WHO Immunization Profile Uganda, available at http://apps.who.int/vaccines/globalsummary/immunization/countryprofileresult.cfm?C=uga