The National Medical Stores (NMS) is set to vaccinate 300 people aged between 9 months to 59 years against yellow fever in Arua city in the West Nile region between March 23 and 25, 2021.
According to NMS public relations officer, James Odong the free exercise is “a token of our commitment to consistently contribute towards positive social development and better quality of life of Ugandans.”
Odong noted that throughout the two-day free exercise, COVID-19 standard operating procedures will be strictly observed. Yellow fever, like malaria, is transmitted through mosquito bites. Its symptoms include high fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting blood in stool and yellowing eyes.
Uganda is considered a high-risk country for yellow fever by a comprehensive global strategy to eliminate yellow fever epidemics (EYE). In 2020, the ministry of Health launched the yellow fever vaccination campaign in West Nile after the disease claimed four lives.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), half of the people who contract the virus die within 7 to 10 days. A single dose of yellow fever vaccine is sufficient to grant sustained immunity and life-long protection against yellow fever disease.
The vaccine provides effective immunity within 10 days for 80-100% of people vaccinated, and within 30 days for more than 99% of people vaccinated. Yellow fever vaccination is also a mandatory requirement for travel out of the country to many other countries.
NMS general manager, Moses Kamabare emphasized that immunization remains the main strategic approach to prevent, contain and eliminate yellow fever outbreaks.
“NMS has provided, and will continue to provide, the necessary medicines and other medical supplies including personal protective equipment to government health facilities and other institutions that are at the frontline in the fight against COVID-19 as advised by ministry of Health,” he emphasized.
NMS is mandated is to procure, store and distribute essential medicines and medical supplies (EMHS) to public health facilities.
The institution will later this year open its fully automated pharmaceutical warehouse in Kajjansi off Entebbe road. The spacious warehouse in Kajjansi will allow vehicles to drive in to pick and drop medicines which is not the case at the stores in Entebbe.
The cold rooms which store sensitive medical supplies such as vaccines and laboratory commodities will have their storage capacity increased five-fold at the new structure.