Uganda Rolls Out Compulsory Immunization to Dispel Anti-Vaccine Myths
Women wait to immunize their children at the Kisugu Health Centre in Kampala, Uganda, where free vaccinations take place. The nurse in the foreground is Betty Makakeeto. Credit: Amy Fallon/IPSBy Amy FallonKAMPALA, Jun 29 2016 (IPS)Patience*, a Ugandan maid, planned on taking her three-year-old son for polio immunization during the country’s mass campaigns a year ago, until her landlord’s wife told her a shocking myth.“The medicine they are injecting them with means the boy when he’s an adult won’t be able to reproduce,” Patience, 32, recalled to IPS what she’d been informed. “She said: ‘Don’t even think about immunization’.”Patience said that in her neighborhood, the Kyebando slum in Kampala, many families “lied to medical personnel” because they were “terrified” about what this woman had told them.Earlier this year, the country’s president signed the Immunization Act 2016, prescribing fines, a jail term of six months or both, for parents who don’t vaccinate their children in the age bracket of five days to one year old.“They said the vaccines are made out of pigs, wild animals, (that) our children will behave like wild animals.” -- MP Huda OleruThe Act also requires the production of an immunization card before admission to day care centres, pre-primary or primary education. It also aims to provide for compulsory immunization of women of reproductive a...
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