KAMPALA, March 14: “In God we trust, all others bring data,” a quote attributed to American professor and statistician William Edwards Deming, is widely used to underscore the role accurate data play in building credibility.
As a result of the lack of verified, up-to-date data, a report released ahead of the ministerial conference on immunisation in Africa last month ranked Uganda’s routine immunisation coverage as among the lowest in the East African sub-region.
The report which tracks immunisation progress and challenges across the continent since the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) was launched and entitled, “Fulfilling a promise: Ensuring immunisation for all in Africa”, rates Uganda’s 2014 diptheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP3) coverage at 78 per cent compared with 80 per cent for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), 81 per cent Kenya, 97 per cent for Tanzania and 99 per cent for Rwanda.
Coverage with the third dose of DTP is used to measure the strength and reach of a country’s routine immunisation programme.
The DTP3 target for countries was 90 per cent for national coverage by 2015 or at least 80 per cent coverage in every district. Experts recommend that children receive DTP three times at appropriate intervals.