The implementation of Covid-19 vaccination for children in hard-to-reach island areas has failed due to lack of transport to vaccination centres.
For instance, 13-year-old Alice Nalumasi told Media she “cannot walk 20kms to the nearest health facility in Ssi Island to access vaccines.
“I have to use water transport to get to my health facility and since the vaccines are not always there, it gets hard for me to get transport means for a particular vaccination day announced by authorities,” she said on October 19.
Henry Kamya, a parent to three children and a resident in Koome Island said he cannot transport all his children by water to receive the vaccine due to changes in weather on water.
According to Buganda Kingdom representative in Gunda Village, Ngongwe-Kyaggwe County in Buikwe District, “there are so many cases in this area where five to seven children are from one family.”
“So, they cannot afford transport to vaccine centres,” observed Mr Kamyuka Mugalu of Buganda Kingdom.
But the Buikwe District Health Officer Dr Richard Bbosa said Covid-19 vaccination is ongoing with more efforts aimed at ensuring all children are vaccinated.
“More than 10 per cent of the children have been vaccinated and 90% of the population has also received the vaccine in Buikwe District.
Dr Bbosa admitted that “some of the island parishes are very far from health facilities but indicated plans to extend health centers in these areas to improve vaccine accessibility for everyone.”
Uganda’s ministry of health targets vaccinating children aged 12-17 and they are required to be accompanied by parents to prove consent for vaccination.
Ending August 2022, more than 1.2 million children in that age bracket had been vaccinated although the nationwide target is 6.6 million, according to government.