Media centre

Media Centre


Press Releases

Media Calendar

Features Archive



In Uganda, a free Pneumonia vaccine is launched to save thousands of children

By Proscovia Nakibuuka Mbonye

Pneumonia, one of the leading killer diseases, is responsible for the death of many children before their fifth birthday. In Uganda, the disease kills up to 24,000 children under the age of five years every year. However, this will change with the recent introduction of the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV), which will save thousands of children’s lives.

The Government of Uganda, with support from UNICEF and the WHO, launched the new pneumonia vaccine at a ceremony officiated by Uganda’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, in Iganga District, eastern Uganda. The vaccine was made available through significant funding by the GAVI Alliance, a global partnership committed to saving children’s lives through immunisation.

The vaccine will not only give children immunity against pneumonia, but also protect them from other life-threatening conditions like meningitis, which often causes permanent mental disabilities and seizures for survivors.

Speaking at the PCV launch, President Museveni called upon parents to immunise their children against killer diseases. “Health is wealth. Now, if health is wealth, what are the measures that are needed to ensure that we live a healthy life? Requirement number one: vaccination,” said Mr. Museveni.

The Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine will be rolled out across the country targeting children below the age of one year, and will be available free of charge in public health facilities. The vaccination programme is expected to reach a potential 1.4 million children in Uganda in 2013 alone, and will be a part of the routine immunisation programmes countrywide.

“Every child, no matter where he or she is born, should have the opportunity and the right to a healthy life, and vaccines are one of the best ways to provide that,” said Dr. Seth Berkley, Chief Executive Officer at GAVI.

The introduction of the new vaccine and the country-wide vaccination exercise will accelerate progress towards elimination of preventable child deaths, which will significantly contribute to reaching the Millennium Development Goal targets set to be achieved by 2015.

# # #



 Email this article

unite for children