Kenyans barred to enter Uganda due to Yellow Fever
Hundreds of passengers who were travelling from Kenya to Uganda were forced to terminate their journey Tuesday night after they were denied access into Uganda for lacking yellow fever vaccination certificates.
The travelers most of them who were going to buy goods in Kampala were left stranded in Busia town after they were forced to alight form the buses they had boarded.
For example passengers aboard Modern Coast from Mombasa and Nairobi were caught unaware when they were told to get off the bus at 4 am on Wednesday night,
“We arrived here at four in the morning and we were told we could not cross the border because we had no Yellow Fever vaccination card,” explained Mr. Mwanane.
But what shocked them is that their fellow passengers of Ugandan origin who were in the same bus were allowed to continue with the journey without presenting the vaccination certificates.
This comes one month after Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni directed that all Kenyans who enter Uganda should be subjected to mandatory yellow fever vaccination or presents the vaccination card to the immigration officials.
It was after Uganda’s health ministry ranked Kenya as a high risk country of the deadly disease alongside Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Sudan.
Busia town residents and business people joined the stranded and frustrated passengers in questioning the rationale of denying them access into Uganda by bus when hundreds of Kenyans are crossing into Uganda daily on foot and on motorbike and are not asked about the Yellow Fever card.
“We also have many Ugandans who cross to Kenya every day to buy and sell their goods and they are not restricted by anybody. Why is this law applying to only one side.”
Yellow Fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected Aedes or Haemagogus species mosquitoes and it causes upto 60000 deaths per year in the world according to world health organization.
The disease can however be prevented through vaccination where a single dose of yellow fever is sufficient to confer sustained immunity and life-long protection against the disease.
But the Kenyan passengers who were blocked from entering Uganda were told that even if they were vaccinated at that time, they would have to wait for ten days before they are allowed to cross to Uganda.
They now want the message to be made official so that those who intend to travel to Uganda can look for the document before they travel so that they are not caught in the similar awkward situation.