Next Media Services have terminated the services of two of their own for their role in ‘misrepresenting’ facts at a recently-concluded Measles-Rubella & Polio vaccination campaign.
Last week, NBS Television reported that the Ministry of Health had confirmed the dangers posed by measles Rubella and Polio Vaccines.
It added that health minister Jane Ruth Acheng has raised fears of fatal side effects on victims during an emergency press conference.
“The Ministry says it is now following up on reports of death and other side effects reported from the exercise.”
The national Measles-Rubella and Polio immunisation campaign was launched in Mayuge District on Tuesday, 15th October 2019 and implemented countrywide from 16th to 20th October 2019. There was an extension of 1 day nationwide and 2 days specifically for Kampala, Wakiso, Mukono and districts in the Karamoja region.
Results from the campaign show that we vaccinated a total of 19,476,110 children against Measles-Rubella out of the 18,100,000 targeted representing 108%; 7,955,597 children were vaccinated against Polio out of the 8,200,000 target representing 97%.
On Saturday, the television station’s management ran a clarification to say Minister Acheng had ruled out any fatal side effects or deaths attributable to the use of the vaccines.
“CLARIFICATION: Today, the Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, held a press conference to update the public on the recent Measles-Rubella & Polio vaccination campaign. She ruled out any fatal side effects or deaths attributable to the use of the vaccines. However, our post on the factual story we ran on air misrepresented some of these key facts and for this, we sincerely apologise,” the station tweeted.
Now Moses Alsayed Lubega and Stephen Olweny, have been relieved of their duties with immediate effect, according to a letter circulated to staff on Monday.
Lubega isa news producer while Olweny is a reporter.
“Measles-Rubella and Polio Story. Effective immediately, Mr. Moses Alsayed Lubega will no longer be a part of the Next Media Services family, as his contract of employment with us is terminated following his role as news producer on duty when facts were misrepresented in a report on a press conference about the recently-concluded Measles-Rubella & Polio vaccination campaign. Relatedly, Stephen Olweny, the reporter of this story, has been suspended from duty for two (2) months. Warning letters have also been handed out to other employees that were involved in the same process. Next Media Services stands for accurate, relevant and timely content at all times, and we are guided by our professionally-approved Editorial Policy. Please always make effort to internalize these guidelines as you go about your duties,” the letter reads in part.
The news producer, we have learnt was a repeat offender.
“Further investigations and decisions are yet to be made,” a source told WatchdogUganda.
This was the first and largest vaccination campaign in the history of this country; the reason being that 3 vaccines were being delivered at the same time and the widest age range. The targets were 18.1 million children for vaccination against Measles-Rubella (9 months to 15 years of age) and 8.2 million children (0-5 years of age) for Polio vaccination.
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