An interesting article in the Ugandan newspaper The Daily Monitor, warning for a possible new polio outbreak. The most interesting part came almost at the end:
Dr Zaramba [the Director General of Health Services; MK] said the health ministry has enough vaccines to roll out an emergency vaccination exercise for children below five years later this month and in April. …
However, Dr Mbabazi [a risk analyst at the WHO country office; MK] said there are “serious health system and bureaucratic problems” that have led to the re-emergence of polio in the country that need to be fixed “real fast”. He cited bureaucratic delays that stopped the government from responding quickly to the WHO warning.
He said, “They are now talking about this upcoming emergency vaccination but as far as I know, there is no money for logistics to do it on a massive scale. Yet it is the best that can be done under the current circumstances.”
Let me reiterate this:
- Seven million Ugandans are at risk of contracting polio
- There are sufficient vaccines to vaccinate all of them
- But: there is no money to arrange the logistics of a vaccination campaign.
Yet another example of how ignoring health logistics will lead to disastrous consequences. When will we start to integrate logistics in our health planning?
(Photo: Polio immunisation in Jinja, Uganda. Courtesy of Richard Franco. Some rights reserved.