Prisoners, 94% fully vaccinated in Uganda

By Gladys Kigozi
In a bid to curb further spread of Covid 19, the government of Uganda embarked on the Immunization exercise to minimize severe disease infection and death rate.
All citizens are called upon to participate in this exercise as part of their right towards accessing professional medical services and it is also their  duty to participate in government programs as indicated by the  1995 Constitution Article 18.
Inmates or prisoners are advised to go in for vaccination.
According to the Prisons Incident Commander Covid 19, Dr Charles Kajoba, by 30th June 2022, 570,106 (94%) prisoners country wide had fully vaccinated.
For the Prisons staffs, by 30th June 2022, 126858 (97%) had fully vaccinated.
“Cumulatively  we had 2637 cases of Covid among prisoners and staff, 6 prisoners passed away, and 2 staff died, while the rest recovered”, said Dr Kajjoba.
“There is a positive response from prisoners to the vaccination exercise,  though we had a few cases of drug hesitancy from some claiming to be anti vaccine but we tried to convince them and they vaccinated”. said Dr Kajjoba.
   Dr Kajjoba said some of the challenges they are facing include overcrowding. He said  Prisons Task force came up with structural and administration strategies that created isolation centres but used prisons rooms as isolation centres, but as the situation normalised the centres were disbanded to accommodate prisoners.
“We have a challenge of prisoners who come from Courts, some of whom refuse to vaccinate claiming that they are already vaccinated and we have no any means of verifying this because they don’t come with their National Identification Numbers ( NIN)”, he said.
He said the Prisons  are scattered and this over stretch their budget in terms of drugs, and fuel.
Kajjoba said they have instituted stand-by health officers to handle the vaccination exercise at their four treatment centres including:
(1)    In Luzira for the Central region.
(2)     In  Jinja  for the Eastern region.
(3)      In Mbarara for the Western region.
(4)      In  Gulu for the Northern  region.
He appreciated the Ministry of Health, Center for Disease Control (CDC) World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Development Partners for the support rendered in fighting this pandemic.
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