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
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
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.