KAMPALA, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Uganda on Thursday received over 20 million doses of measles-rubella vaccines that will be used in the country's nationwide immunization campaign scheduled for late September.
Uganda and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in a joint statement issued here said the vaccines will target over 18 million children aged 9 months to 14 years.
"Procurement of vaccines and other immunization supplies is one of several approaches UNICEF is taking to support the government of Uganda to contain the measles and rubella outbreaks across the country," said Doreen Mulenga, UNICEF's Representative in Uganda.
"By vaccinating every child in Uganda on time, we will avert the spread of these dangerous diseases and many preventable child deaths and birth defects," Mulenga added.
The 14.3 million U.S. dollar worth of vaccines were procured by UNICEF with financial support from Gavi, a public-private global health partnership.
According to the statement, 62 districts are currently experiencing a measles outbreak while 25 have been affected by rubella.
Measles is highly contagious and spreads through air, infecting the respiratory tract. It can potentially kill malnourished children or babies too young to be vaccinated.
Rubella is an infection caused by a virus and is particularly dangerous for adolescents and pregnant women.
Globally, over 400 children die every day due to measles and about 280 babies are born every day with congenital rubella syndrome.