Individuals traveling across East Africa on Friday were ordered to begin receiving mandatory yellow fever vaccines in an effort "to contain an outbreak of the disease in Uganda," which has sickened an estimated 190 people, resulting in 48 deaths as of Dec. 30, 2010, the Citizen reports (Ubwani, 1/22).
The vaccination plan was announced following a meeting of East African Community (EAC) partner states held to review the "status of yellow fever in the EAC partner states and consider joint cross-border and national mass supplemental immunisation campaigns," Guardian/IPP Media reports in a piece that looks at how the countries hope to also target an immunization campaign for children living in the region. The piece examines how shortages in yellow fever vaccines may delay a start to the campaign and how the governments are working together to increase the amount of yellow fever vaccines available (Philemon, 1/24).
According to the Citizen, Hadji Mponda, Tanzania's minister for health and social welfare, "told reporters that all ... EAC partner states have now agreed that vaccination against the disease must be compulsory for those crossing national borders" and that vaccine centers were being set up at border posts. Mponda also said he knew of no known reported cases of yellow fever in Tanzania to date, yet he expressed concerns about the quantity of yellow fever vaccines available for distribution.
Also "[s]peaking at the meeting, EAC deputy secretary general Jean Claude Nsengiyumva said the yellow fever outbreak was of major concern to the region," the newspaper writes. Beth Mugo, Kenya's minister for Health and Sanitation, also speaking at the meeting, said she too was unsure of the presence of yellow fever in Kenya (Ubwani, 1/22).
According to an East African Community press release, "[o]ther partner states have not reported any case of yellow fever outbreak. The ministers from Rwanda and Burundi informed the meeting that last time yellow fever occurred in their respectively countries was in the 1950's but mitigating measures have been put in place following the reported cases in Uganda" (1/21).
Guardian/IPP Media examines how shortages in yellow fever vaccines may delay a start to the campaign and how the governments are working together to increase the amount of yellow fever vaccines available (1/24).