Uganda receives 11 millon polio vaccines after new outbreak

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Nurse Agnes from the Bwindi Community Hospital administers a Polio vaccination during a Polio and Measles vaccination program for newborn children in the community. The outreach clinic is in Kitahurira, the only Batwa tribe settlement in Mpungu district. Bwindi Community Hospital provides different outreach clinics everyday for the surrounding area around Buhoma. Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images

Uganda has received about 11 million doses of the polio vaccine that will be used following an outbreak of the crippling disease, the Ministry of Health said on Thursday.

The ministry said in a statement that the vaccines arrived on Wednesday and will be used during a mass vaccination campaign starting next month, targeting millions of children.

All children under 5, estimated to be about 8.8 million, or around 20 percent of the country’s population, will be targeted in the door-to-door campaign across the country.

The door-to-door strategy “is designed to reach every single child in the villages and settlements,” the statement said.

Uganda announced in August an outbreak of a polio virus type 2, whose vaccine was excluded from the country’s routine immunization programs in 2016. The country was certified polio free in October 2006 by the World Health Organization after having reported no indigenous polio cases for 10 years.

Similar outbreaks, according to the ministry, were occurring in the countries bordering Uganda.

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