By Mike McQuestion, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Director, Sustainable Immunization Financing
7 Feb Kampala, Uganda - Ten members of parliament (MPs) from the Ugandan National Assembly met today for a Sabin-sponsored briefing on the country's immunization financing. Following a presentation by Sabin Senior Program Officer Diana Kizza Mugenzi, participants discussed advocacy and legislative strategies and agreed to form a core group that will create a parliamentary immunization forum. The MPs will assess immunization program performance in their home districts.
"We need to make every district a champion", urged Honorable Mike Sebalu, member of the East African Legislative Assembly.
Uganda's immunization budget has been flat for the past decade while the numbers of children to be immunized have steadily risen. The MPs agreed to develop legislation to remedy this and to actively monitor immunization program performance. They called for another briefing from the Uganda Ministry of Health in the coming weeks to define how they will work collectively to increase vaccine coverage levels and reduce the country's dependency on external immunization financing.