Government set to kick off major polio campaign in 15 counties

January 12, 2017 4:35 pm
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The vaccination which will begin from the 18th – 22nd January will be targeting at least 3 million children under the age of five/MUTHONI WAERU

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 12 – The Ministry of Health is set to kick off a four day polio vaccination campaign in 15 high risk areas.

The vaccination which will begin from the 18th – 22nd January will be targeting at least 3 million children under the age of five.

The vaccination campaign has been occasioned by an ongoing polio outbreak within the neighbouring countries.

“Kenya’s neighbouring countries that have weak health systems pose a major risk due to migration across porous borders,” said the Director of Medical Services Jackson Kioko.

The vaccination campaign which costs at least Sh270 million was initially set to start from the 10th -14th December 2016, but was halted due to the nurse’s strike and lack of adequate resources.

The risk of a polio outbreak in Kenya is still high because only 1.2 million children out of the 1.5 million targeted for routine immunization in health facilities are reached.

The last polio outbreak to occur in the country was in 2013 where a total of 14 cases were reported in Garissa County.

“The ministry is committed towards implementing activities that will contribute towards main objective of ending the polio endemic by 2018,” said Kioko. “That is why we have set out protective measures along the Kenyan borders to reduce polio transmissions from neighbouring countries.”

The global community has set a target of eradicating polio by end of 2018.

Africa will only be declared polio free if no nation in the continent reports any case of polio.

The 15 counties include: Nairobi, Lamu, Tana River, Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit, Isiolo, Samburu, Turkana, West Pokot, Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Bungoma and Busia.

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