United Kingdom

Uganda Network

Immunisation and Health


"Children have the right to enough food, clean water and health care"

Did you know? If children are not immunised:

3 out of 100 children will die of measles each year. (That's probably one child in every Scout's class.)

2 out of 100 children will die of whooping cough each year.

1 out of 200 children will die of polio.

In the United Kingdom, all children are immunised against the six major childhood diseases - measles, whooping cough, diphtheria, tuberculosis (TB), tetanus and polio. This reduces the risk of catching the disease and if caught the infection is usually less severe. Hib, a vaccine to protect children against meningitis has recently been added to the immunisation programme.

The United Kingdom timetable for immunisation is as follows.


 Age  Immunisation
  2 months
Diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, (DPT injection),polio drops (given in a sugar lump), Hib.
  3 months
2nd DPT injection, 2nd polio drops, Hib.
  4 months
3rd DPT injection, 3rd polio drops, Hib.
  12-18 months
Injection against measles,mumps, rubella (MMR).
 3-5 years
booster for tetanus, diphtheria polio drops.
  14 years



Show the Cub Scouts the chart of when immunisations are given to young people in this country and explain that most are injections but polio vaccine is given orally on sugar lumps. Ask the Cub Scouts to draw a picture of themselves at one of the ages receiving their immunisations. Encourage them to include how they would feel. Would it hurt? Would it make them feel sick? A younger brother or sister may have just received injections and so they have had recent first hand experience.


Immunisations give us internal protection against the bacteria and viruses which cause diseases. After immunisation lots of different substances are formed and when our bodies come across the disease again these substances multiply rapidly and destroy the disease. If we are not immunised, the bacteria and viruses grow inside our body and can make us feel unwell, very ill or can even kill us. Immunisation boosts our natural defence mechanism. Drugs can also be used to kill the bacteria.



Ask the Cub Scouts to draw a cartoon of what happens when our bodies are invaded by bacteria and viruses.

Some could draw the effect on someone who has been immunised and others could draw the effects when immunisation has not taken place. Then pair the Cub Scouts up and swap cartoons.


Badge Work


In Uganda Scouts can work for a Proficiency badge. They help educate parents on the importance of immunisation and help UNICEF and health care workers by helping parents keep records of the immunisation their children receive.


Make a card and ask the Cub Scouts to find out if they have had all the immunisations. Ask them to find out from their parents too, and also their grandparents or the Cub Scouts could visit an old people's home. Do they know which diseases were common when their parents and grandparents were children? Have their parents or grandparents had these diseases? If not, why not?

Perhaps the Cub Scouts could collect this information and then chart the results for each Six, using a coloured dot for each disease.


Grand Parents Parents Cub Scouts
Immunisations x x x
Diseases x x x

Saving Lives

In Uganda the diseases listed are very common and kill many children.

The Government, with the help of UNICEF, has embarked on a programme of immunisation to raise public awareness and encourage parents to have their children immunised.

Games and Activities

Six Cub Scouts are identified as diseases. Pieces of coloured card or paper could be cut out and pinned to the Cub Scout's jumper or tied around the Cub Scout's neck using wool. The diseases should be - measles, polio, tuberculosis, tetanus, whooping cough and diphtheria. The rest of the Cub Scouts are not immunised.

Set up six immunisation stations for example: tuberculosis, measles, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus and polio. Again, card or paper could be given out as immunisations. Cub Scouts who have not been immunised try to collect immunisation markers from each station. Three diseases at a time can try to catch Cub Scouts before they are immunised and the other three diseases wait at a disease station. Diseases can only catch a child if they haven't got an appropriate immunisation card from a immunisation station. For example if a Cub Scout has a measles card, he or she can be caught by tuberculosis.

When a Cub Scout is caught by a disease between the immunisation stations, he or she is out if they are not immunised. After each successful catch the disease returns to the disease station and another disease comes out.

Cub Scouts who have not been immunised are safe in immunisation stations and can only be caught by a disease between these stations.

A Cub Scout wins by collecting all six immunisation markers. This game could also be adapted to a wide game if played in a larger area.

Contact the Uganda Network Copyright © The UK Uganda Network - 2002
Last modified 3 January 2004


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