At risk. According to Dr James Sekajugo, a principal medical officer at the Health ministry, the disease killed one person in neighbouring Kenya thus, the need for vigilance. Travelers to Uganda from high risk yellow fever countries must produce a valid immunization certificate against the disease to be allowed into the country, according to new guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.
According to Dr James Sekajugo, a principal medical officer at the Health ministry, Uganda is now at high risk after the disease killed one person in neighbouring Kenya.
“There is a yellow fever outbreak in Angola and so far over 200 people have died. There is another outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which has claimed eight lives,” said Dr Sekajugo.
He added: “Recently, two Kenyans traveled from Angola and tested positive for the fever. One died and another is still receiving treatment.”
This, according to Dr Sekajugo, has brought the disease next to Ugandan boundaries and the disease spreads faster by air transport thus the decision to have immunization cards produced at Entebbe airport. “Any passenger traveling to and from a high risk country will be required to produce a valid yellow fever immunization certificate before they are allowed to proceed,” said Dr Sekajugo. He said the certificate should have been issued 10 days before travel.
The card requirement is meant to ensure passengers are protected from contracting and spreading the disease.
“We are working with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to ensure that passengers who appear without the cards receive the yellow fever vaccine at the airport on their costs upon arrival,” he added.
All airlines plying Entebbe International Airport have been asked to ensure that their passengers from high risk countries possess the certificate before being issued with an air ticket.
About Yellow Fever
World Health Organization (WHO) describes Yellow fever as an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. The “yellow” in the name refers to the jaundice that affects some patients. Uganda is also listed as a high risk country. In Uganda vaccination is offered at KCCA clinics, Case Hospital and the Surgery in Naguru.
Signs and symptoms; fever, muscle pain with prominent backache, headache, shivers, loss of appetite, and nausea or vomiting.
Countries in Africa that should have certificates include Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Ivory Coast, DRC, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia and Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Southern Sudan, Sudan, Togo and Uganda.