KAMPALA, 7 October 2003 - The Country Representatives of UNICEF and of WHO in Uganda appeal to all belligerents in Uganda to cease all hostilities between 14th and 21st October to allow for the mass immunisation of children against measles.
The WHO Representative and the UNICEF Representative are making this appeal for “days of tranquillity” in the conflict-affected areas to allow more than 50,000 vaccinators and community mobilisers to immunise every one of 12.7 million children in Uganda during the mass immunisation campaign. UNICEF and WHO are the principal supporters of the campaign that is being conducted by the Ministry of Health of the Government of Uganda.
The two Representatives remind all parties to conflict, particularly those in northern and north-eastern Uganda, that the parties to the conflict have an obligation to all the children of Uganda to ensure that they enjoy their right to health. In calling for an absolute cessation of hostilities during the week of the campaign, both UNICEF and WHO expect that vaccination teams will reach every part of Uganda and immunise every child from age 6 months to 15 years, irrespective of location, parentage, gender, race, religious creed, ethnic origin or political affiliation. The two agencies emphasise that access to measles immunisation is a right and that the international community has, through the Declaration of Health for All and through the Declaration on a World Fit For Children, committed itself to ensure that measles is eliminated.
“No cause and no conflict can be greater or more urgent than the cause of protecting ALL the children of Uganda from this deadly disease. Let peace reign in Uganda for at least the duration of the mass immunisation activities so that the children can be saved”, the two Representatives urge.
For more information, please contact:
Dr Vincent Orinda, UNICEF
Tel: 256-077-733476 Fax 256-41-259-146
Mr. Benjamin Sensasi, WHO Information Officer,
P. O. Box 24578 Kampala Uganda
Tel. 256-41-335500 Fax 256-41-335569