The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has directed the Ministry of Health to urgently intervene and investigate a suspected Measles outbreak in Kiryandongo district.
The directive by the Speaker followed a matter of National Importance that was raised by Kiryandongo Woman MP, Hellen Kahunde who noted that a number of measles cases have been registered at Kiryandongo hospital.
Kahunde told legislators that so far, 50 children have been reported dead due to the suspected epidemic.
Kahunde reported that the outbreak is as well claiming the lives of children who were immunized against the disease, causing suspicion on the kind of vaccines that were administered to the children.
“So far, we have lost over 50 lives at Kiryandongo hospital and we are surprised that even the children that were immunized against measles are also dying. I pray that government investigates the possible causes,” Kahunde said.
The legislator prayed that government intervenes immediately with measures to mitigate the epidemic and also investigate the possible cause.
“I pray that government as well investigates the quality of vaccines used because the health team is highlighting the likelihood of having administered children with expired vaccines or vaccines that were poorly stored.”
The substantive Ministers from the Ministry of Health were all out of the House and are yet to give a response on the matter.
This prompted the Speaker to rule ordering the Minister of Health to urgently respond to the alleged epidemic outbreak in Kiryandongo district.
SoftPower News spoke to Vivian Serwanjja, the Public Relations Officer for Ministry of Health who could not confirm that there is a measles in Kiryandongo. She said that the latest update by the Rapid Response Team does not indicate Kiryandongo among the districts with most recent suspected cases.
“I can not authoritatively say there is a Measles outbreak in Kiryandongo. Nonetheless, we don’t take any alerts for granted. We are going to follow the matter up,” Sserwanjja told this website on Wednesday.
“What happens is – when we get reports, we dispatch a Rapid Response Team which deals with case management, does surveillance and takes samples. The latest update we have on Measles was sent on November 22 and it only shows confirmed cases in Sembabule and Kiboga districts”.
Other districts where samples were previously collected for suspected Measles are Rukungiri, Lira, Soroti, Kyegegwa and Wakiso.
Regarding the allegations that some children could have been vaccinated using expired vaccines, Sserwanjja said that there is a possibility that the said children did not complete the Measles vaccination schedule.
“It is one thing to take them [children] for vaccination, it is another thing for them to complete the schedule. Also, vaccination does not stop a child from suffering from Measles. What it does is strengthen their immunity so that you don’t easily acquire the disease,” she added.