AMREF Rallies for Integration of COVID-19 Vaccines into Routine Care

Civil Society organization AMREF Health Africa Uganda has conducted an outreach in Kampala in a medical camp as part of the effort to integrate COVID-19 vaccines into routine care.

The event that took place in Nakulabye offered a cocktail of health services including demonstration and installation of hand washing points, COVID-19 vaccination, HIV testing, diabetes tests, childhood immunization, malaria check-ups, and hepatitis B screening among others.

Speaking to URN in an interview on the sidelines of the camp, Edward Tibawala, a Programs Officer at AMREF said community-led public health responses are at this time the most critical to keep at bay any likely increase in COVID-19 cases with the ongoing complacency that came with reduction in new infections.

This comes at the time when the Ministry of Health is urging especially the elderly to embrace booster doses for the country to be on the safe side in case of another surge.

In a previous interview, Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng indicated that most facilities that were offering vaccination reported having a low turn-up of people leading to the expiry of some in the stores.

The Ministry has since resolved to integrate COVID-19-related interventions including treatment into routine immunization and in the partnership they have with AMREF, outreaches will be conducted in nine districts including Kampala, Kayunga, Wakiso, Gomba, Butambala, Mpigi, Mukono, Buikwe and Buvuma.

According to Githinji Gitahi, the Executive Director of AMREF Health Africa says that considering the low uptake of COVID-19 vaccines, they resolved to conduct outreaches after realizing that offering communities more than just COVID-19 vaccines but tackle would sort other healthcare concerns.

He reveals that MasterCard Foundation, one of their key donors supporting COVID-19 vaccines has halted and is currently doing a programmatic audit to determine the immediate needs of the community other than just focusing on the COVID-19 vaccine.

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