Reach every child in Uganda through integrated child health days

By Sylivia Bwami Nandawula

Integrated child health days occur biannually in the month of April and October every year. It’s a Ministry of Health intervention supported by UNICEF and other partners to promote the health and well-being of children and pregnant women in Uganda.

Yes, it’s April again and health workers are within your communities to extend services to people with the aim of promoting good health.

There is global evidence that life-saving services offered in a package quickly achieve high coverage reducing child and maternal illness and death.

I therefore encourage all parents and caregivers to take all their children to any nearby health facility to receive these packages. You are also advised to carry along with you the child immunization card, Antenatal card or Mother and Child Passport to guide the health workers on which vaccine to administer to your child.

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The services are given at; Immunization centres both static and outreach posts, Health facilities, Schools and Places of worship i.e. churches or mosques. The following services will be provided to children

  • Routine and catch-up immunization for children 1 year with routine vaccines including yellow fever vaccine at 9 months.
  • Additional doses of Hepatitis B birth dose, injectable polio vaccine at one and half months and Measles-Rubella vaccine second dose at one and half years will be part of the immunization package
  • Vitamin A supplementation for children 6 months to less than 5 years.  Vitamin A is essential for good vision, growth, cell division and immunity. It also has antioxidant properties.
  • Deworming for children from 1 to 14 years in and out of school
  • HPV vaccination for all 10-year-old girls to protect them against cancer of the cervix
  • Early infant diagnosis for children from one and half months (6 weeks) to one and half years(18 months)
  • Eye screening  for children from 1 month to 15 years
  • Immunization of girls and women against Tetanus and Diptheria(TD)  from  15 to  45years( women of childbearing age)
  • Promotion of key family health care practices including exclusive breastfeeding from birth to 6 months; sanitation and personal hygiene and sleeping under insecticide-treated nets to prevent Malaria.
  • Screening for malnutrition of children 6 months to less than 5 years using MUAC tapes.

Let us embrace these services dear parents and prevent these diseases. Prevention is better than cure and it saves resources.

A Health Child Is A Happy Family

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The author; Sylivia Bwami Nandawula, (BScN) is the in-charge Gombe Health Centre in Nansana Municipality

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