Uganda: Measles Outbreak DREF operation n° MDRUG035

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CHF 116,006 has been allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) in responding to measles outbreak through accelerated social mobilization to reduce the risk of further spread amongst 1,845,000 people in the affected districts of Kamwenge, Kyenjojo, Mubende and Isingiro in Uganda. Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.

Summary: The Ministry of Health (MoH) in Uganda has confirmed another outbreak of measles in Kamwenge district on 9 August, 2013, following previous outbreaks during the recent months in Kyenjojo, Mubende and Isingiro districts of Uganda. This has caused concerns on further spread to additional districts and across borders posing further threats to the lives and wellbeing of the population in Uganda and extended region. In total, 57 persons have so far contracted the disease, and 2 have died. The majority of confirmed cases are young children.

The MoH, through Uganda Expanded Program for Immunization (UNEPI), the district health office and its local partners, have intensified support to the affected districts to scale up routine immunization for children to prevent others from contracting the disease. The districts and MoH are planning sub-national mass measles vaccination campaigns in an effort to cut the measles transmission cycle, targeting all children between 6 months to 15 years, focusing on the affected districts.

The MoH has requested support from the civil society to urgently assist the affected districts to intensify social mobilization for accelerated routine vaccination and campaigns in these districts in order to avert further measles outbreak and spread to more parts of the country and across the borders.
The Uganda Red Cross, with its extensive experiences in community mobilization, intends to support the MoH with social mobilization activities in the 4 affected districts aiming at increasing the level of vaccination of children, through intensified house to house community sensitization, strategic partnership with schools, religious institutions and community leaders, media campaigns, and community based disease surveillance. URCS will build capacities of the involved volunteers and community members to provide information on the need and benefits of vaccinating children to the parents and care givers. The proposed intensified mass measles campaign in these districts is aiming at increasing the number of vaccinated children between 6 months to 15 years through identifying and encouraging those who have never been immunized or did not complete their immunization schedules to do so hence cut the transmission chain to stop the spread of the outbreak. The proposed action complements the government activities as well as other interventions by other actors, with overall coordination undertaken by the MoH.
This operation is expected to be implemented over 3 months, and will therefore be completed by end of November 2013; a Final Report will be made available three months after the end of the operation (by end of February 2014).