Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda administering the drug to one of the kids during the launch

Ministry of health has launched Rotavirus vaccine that poses an exception to typical diarrheal disease management rules and it will be included onto the Routine Immunization Schedule for all children below the age of five.

According to United Nations (UN), by December 2016, 66 per cent of 47 countries that embrace world health organisation (WHO) had introduced rotavirus vaccine, and by end 2018, 12 additional countries will have introduced this vaccine into their routine immunization program.

Speaking at the launch, minister for health Jane Ruth Acheng said, Rotavirus vaccine is safe and can be administered simultaneously with other routine infant vaccines, “It is administered orally and requires two doses at six and 10 weeks of age.

Acheng said an estimated 10,637 children below the age of five die due to Rotavirus diarrhea therefore Rotavirus vaccine will greatly reduce infant and under mortality rates.

“With support from Gavi funds, world health organisation (WHO) UNICEF, government of Uganda Shs3.2billion towards the launch of s Vaccine that will be accessed at a zero cost in all government hospitals,” She said during the launch that occurred at Ngogwe Sub-County, Buikwe District.

She said Buikwe District was selected to launch Rotavirus vaccine due to its high prevalence of diarrheal diseases. It ranks high among the top five districts with high prevalence of diarrheal diseases in Uganda.

She appealed to all parents and guardians to immunize their children at least five times before their first birthday, “Immunization strengthens a child’s ability to fight diseases,” she added.