Yellow fever screening Compulsory for East Africa travelers

Yellow fever Vaccination is now compulsory for travelers to the East African region, following its announcement in Arusha, Tanzania, yesterday.

This has been necessitated by the outbreak of the viral disease in some parts of the community which, fortunately extreme measures have been taken to ensure it does not spread.

Efforts are ongoing to establish yellow fever vaccination centres at the border posts  ofUganda, Tanzania, RwandaKenya, and DR Congoas one of the measures being taken.

All the East Africa Community – EAC partner states have agreed that vaccination against the disease must now be compulsory for those crossing national borders.

The head of health unit in the EAC secretariat Dr. Stanley Sonoya , said the health ministers will consider joint cross border and national mass supplemental immunization campaigns.

Speaking at the meeting, EAC deputy secretary general Jean Claude Nsengiyumwa said yellow fever outbreak was a major concern to the region.Yellow fever is an acute hemorrhagic disease transmitted by a bite of female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes mostly found in Africa and South America.

The World Health Organisation estimates it causes 200,000 illness and 30,000 deaths every year in unvaccinated populations and that around 90 percent of the infections occur in Africa.

All travelers intending to take an African safari are required to take the vaccine and acquire yellow book / certificate. This is recommended by the World Health Organization and all travel medicine authorities for all travelers entering Africa who are above the age of one year.

Travelers who have acquired the vaccine are immune to the disease. A single dose correctly given confers immunity in basically 100% of recipients. Immunity persists for at least 10 years and re-immunization is currently recommended after 10 years.

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