ADJUMANI, UGANDA: The Adjumani senior education officer Akuku Phillip has told the district covid-19 task force to stop intimidating teachers over corona vaccination because teachers are hard to be easily coerced.
Mr. Akuku said during a weekly briefing with the district covid-19 taskforce yesterday, Thursday, September 23, 2021
“Statements like if teachers do not show up for the jabs their names will be deleted from the payrolls and threats of disciplinary actions may not work”. he said.
Mr. Akuku who sounded confident advised the task force to employ the persuasive approach or else they are bound to face resistance.
The debate on the teachers’ vaccination comes at a time when President Yoweri Museveni has vowed to discipline RDCs, CAOs, and DHOs who fail to vaccinate teachers leading to the expiry of the covid vaccines.
The senior education officer however allayed the fears of the task force and pledges to employ an appropriate plan for mobilizing the defiant teachers, especially through their various communication platforms and associations.
But the fuming Madi Paramount Chief Drani Stephen has recommended that government recruits new teachers to replace those defying instructions on covid-19, vaccinations.
“Government has given them a chance to survive coronavirus and they have elected to die so, let’s open up and vaccinate those who are willing to receive the jabs”. Chief Drani fumed.
The assistant DHO in charge of environmental health Manga Godfrey said teachers should also not intimidate the government with court action because the Public health Act is clear and elaborate on pandemics’ that is why people have been placed in quarantines without trials.
And Sr.Pauline Idia the assistant DHO in charge of maternal and child health told the meeting that her team did all it could to convince the teachers to get the jabs but the uptake is still low.
“We do not know what else we can do to change the minds of the teachers, we talked all the talks but the information fell on death ears”,
There are 3064 teachers in Adjumani but less than 1.000 teachers have been vaccinated even when they are a priority category in the ongoing covid-19, vaccinations.
According to data from the education department only 40% of primary teachers are natives and out of over 1.100 primary school teachers 741 are on the government payroll and the remainder is largely employees’ of the UN refugee Agency and Windle Trust International meaning controlling them may be difficult.
The Adjumani DHO Dr.Drametu Dominic has said though the uptake of the vaccines is low, there is no worry of the vaccines expiring since the task force has intensified mobilization to cross-cutting categories of people.
He said at the end of the current vaccination exercise about 7.000 people would have been covered which he notes is still a drop in the ocean because the targeted population size is 96,000. By yesterday, the Sinovac coverage was16%and that of AstraZeneca rose to 75%.
The district has cumulatively confirmed 915 covid-19, cases. The index case was detected and confirmed on March 23, 2020, and the total number of samples collected has reached 10115 as of September 22, 2021,
The district has recorded 16 cumulative confirmed covid-19, related deaths, with 12 nationals and 4 refugees while the number of health workers infected with the virus is 133.