Polio drive targets 15million children

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By Brenda Kiprono

Three million children under five years in 15 counties will next week be vaccinated against polio.

This comes following a polio risk analysis conducted by the Ministry of Health, aimed at eradicating polio in Kenya.

The Ministry of Health is set to launch a nationwide campaign against polio that will run for five days from January 18th.

Polio is the second disease targeted for total eradication after the successful eradication of Small Pox globally in 1977.

Risk analysis done by the Ministry of Health in October 2016 showed that 66 per cent of children less than 5 years in Kenya were at moderate or high risk of getting polio in case an imported case found its way into the country.

The government has said that the move is aimed at keeping the viral infection outside the Kenyan borders.

Nairobi, Lamu, Tana River, Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit, Isiolo, Samburu, Turkana, West Pokot, Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Bungoma and Busia as high-risk counties.

Director of Medical Services Jackson Kioko says the vaccination had been prompted by an ongoing polio outbreak within Africa, Nigeria in August 2016 that he says potentially exposes Kenya to a possible polio outbreak.

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