Parents living with people suffering from cerebral palsy in Mukono District are in a dilemma after failing to take their children to get Covid-19 vaccination. This comes after they failed to get clear explanation from the Ministry of Health and medical workers themselves about the vaccination exercise.
Tezerah Namuli, a resident of Dandira in Mukono Municipality, has two children suffering from cerebral palsy. She says that to-date, she has never taken her two daughters to get vaccinated due to failure of getting clear information from medical workers about people who are in this state.
She adds that she is in fear not knowing the outcomes in case she takes them for vaccination.
“I am not sure whether this vaccine might cause more harm to my daughters or not. That is why I decided to give it some time until when the government comes out with clear information because they are on other medications,” she says.
Namuli also adds that transporting these children to vaccination centers is hard as they need special care. She says they need to hire a vehicle to transport them, which is expensive for her in the current economic situation that was affected by Covid-19.
“In the area where I stay, the immunization point was placed at Nsuube Church of Uganda, which is very far from where I reside. Unless the government comes out with a special arrangement and provides us with transport or sends the Village Health Team to our homes, many of our children are going to miss the vaccine,” Namuli Says.
Fred Migadde, the coordinator of Conidia Dirge Syndrome Foundation Uganda, who is also the director of Good Samaritan Inclusive Primary School, says that Mukono District has more than 2000 children with cerebral palsy and of these, 450 are within Mukono Municipality.
Migadde says that many children in this category are kept in the houses by the parents or guardians because some have failed to carry them to vaccination centers.
He added that although they have tried to talk to these parents, many of them have insisted on not taking their children for the vaccination exercise due to fear of side effects.
“I am in negotiation with certain parents in Kiwala Village, Nama Sub-county, who have a 21-year-old girl. I want them to take the child for vaccination as an example to the rest so they can embrace the exercise,” Migadde added.
Ismail Musiime Miyingo, the coordinator of Mercy’s Nest Foundation, a non-governmental organisation which deals with these children in Nama and Nakisunga sub-counties, attributes these to little sanitization by the Covid-19 committees and government itself mostly to people who stay in villages.
Musiime says that it is their role now to talk to the parents to embrace these exercises because vaccination is harmless as mobilization is still lacking most especially in villages. He added that the three days he speeds in those remote areas like Kabula, Kayunga, Kibuguma, Wakiso, Wabununu in Wakiso and Katogo parishes, most parents are ignorant about these exercises.
However, the Mukono District Health Officer, Dr Stephen Mulindwa, encouraged the parents to take their children to get vaccinated.