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.



  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 Tuberculosis.


Many of the children who die in the developing world are killed by six immunisable diseases: diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, tuberculosis, polio and measles. These can be prevented by a series of vaccinations given to the mother during pregnancy and to the young child. Even so, 3.5 million children in the developing world die each year and the same number again are disabled by these diseases.

The Scout Association in Uganda plays a very important role in enabling children to be immunised against the six killer diseases. As a result of the years of turmoil, health provision in Uganda is very poor. The government, with the help of UNICEF, is working to make sure children receive their vaccinations. This is done through the Uganda National Expanded programme for Immunisation (UNEPI).

UNICEF sponsor an immunisation badge for Scouts and Guides. This enables the important health messages to reach local communities where many of the parents may be illiterate. For the Scouts to earn the badges they must be able to answer the following questions:

1. Know which six diseases are prevented as part of UNEPI?

2. At what age should the measles vaccine be given?

3. Which immunisations require more than one dose?

4. If it is effective to immunise children who are past one year old?

5. How can infants be immunised against tetanus before they are born?

The tasks they must undertake are:

1. Go to the closest immunisation centre. Find out the day and time they give vaccines.

  • Tell 10 parents in their village the information.
  • Make a sign stating the above information. Place it in a public place so everyone can see it. (This could be in a market, near the water source, or anywhere else people gather.)

2. Check the child health cards of 10 children in their village. Explain to their mothers the importance of frequent visits to the health centre for vaccinations.

3. Assist five mothers in bringing their children to the clinic for immunisation.

4. Tell a pregnant women about tetanus toxoid immunisation for her to help protect her new baby.

Once they have successfully completed the questions and tasks they will be awarded the Proficiency badge for immunisation services. Scouts wear it proudly; it is the symbol that says they have learned about immunisation and helped save a life by ensuring children are immunised.

immunise badge (3.5k) 

 How much do you think it might cost to immunise a child?

box of 12 hypodermic Syringes


vaccine for 7 children against measles


vaccine for 5 children against polio


vaccine for 6 children against DPT


vaccine for 16 children against polio


Everything for 1 child


Training for a vaccinator (2 weeks)



If it costs £7.55p to immunise a child, how much will, it cost to immunise a village of 170 or 1520?
How much will it cost to immunise your class, your Scout Patrol, your School?

How does this compare to the pocket money the Scouts receive?


  Immunisation   Pocket money or equivalent
 1 child  1 weeks pocket money?
 My Scout Patrol  A pair of trainers?
 My Scout Troop  Cost of two weeks at camp?
 Village of 70  A family holiday for 4?
 1520  A new car?


Uganda has a population of 18 million people and about 50% are under the age of 18. Babies need to be immunised if they are to grow up to be healthy and children need to be educated. This is very expensive and puts a great strain on the very limited resources of the Government of Uganda. UNICEF plays a very important role in supporting the primary health care and education for young people in Uganda.

Contact the Uganda Network Copyright © The UK Uganda Network - 2002
Last modified 5 January 2004


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