NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 9 – Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu on Saturday launched a five-day nationwide polio vaccination campaign targeting nine million children under the age of five.
At the launch attended by the World Health Organisation’s representative to Kenya Custodia Mandlhate, Mailu said Kenya had not registered a single case of polio in the last three years because of the regular campaigns.
“To achieve this success, the country has conducted 18 successful polio vaccination campaigns, and has now introduced inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) in routine immunisation,” he said at the launch held in Narok.
He therefore, called on all parents with children under five to take advantage of the door-to-door campaign adding that the overall immunisation statistics had improved significantly over the last three years of the Jubilee administration following the introduction of free maternity services at all public health facilities.
“Coverage for fully immunised child in the country has significantly improved from 56 percent (FY 2013/14) through 66 percent (FY 2014/15) to the current 76 percent,” he said.
And in compliance of its global commitment, he said, Kenya had destroyed laboratory samples containing polio virus (Serotype 2).
He assured the public that the vaccine is safe to ingest in light of the controversy that surrounded a tetanus vaccine after the Catholic Church raised concern that it could cause female infertility.
“I want to assure the public that the vaccine has been tested by the National Quality Control Laboratory and found to be safe and therefore to cause for alarm (sic),” he said.