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UG polio prompts Kenya vaccination

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 11 – The government on Thursday announced that polio vaccination would be rolled out in 22 districts considered to be high risk, starting next Saturday.

Public Health and Sanitation Minister Beth Mugo said the campaign would target children below the age of five.

“We are starting a campaign which will include immunising all children up to five years old.  There are over 900,000 children who will be immunised because we do not want one single child being paralysed,” she said.

The Minister appealed to families in the 22 districts in the Rift Valley, Nyanza and Western Kenya to take their children for vaccination.

The vaccination will start on November 20 and ran up to January.

Mrs Mugo said the campaign would be conducted in three rounds with the first taking place from November 20 to 24.  The second will start on December 11 to 15, while the third round will be start on January 15 to 19 next year.

The districts are considered high risk because an outbreak was reported in neighbouring Uganda.

“We kicked out polio many years ago and now it started coming back towards last year. But it is coming from our neighbours. Last year it came from Sudan, now it is coming from Uganda,” she said.

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Mrs Mugo said the government was however beefing up surveillance at the borders to control the movement of people.

She said the campaign would cost about Sh200 million which has already been made available by the government and development partners.

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