Director of Medical Services Dr. Jackson Kioko has expressed concern over the decreasing national immunization coverage in the country.
Dr. Kioko said recent data from the Ministry of Health showed that national immunization coverage has dropped from 78 per cent to 68 per cent in a span of five years.
He said the coverage is below the Global Vaccination Action Plan target of at least 90 percent coverage, adding that immunization coverage rate is measured by percentage of children receiving the third dose of the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine (DTP3).
DTP3 helps young children develop immunity to three deadly diseases caused by bacteria: diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough (pertussis).
“The declining immunization coverage is not good for the wellbeing and growth of the population,” he said, adding that Kenya has in the past made significant gains toward increasing access to immunization.
The Director said the Health Ministry was set to launch a massive campaign to sensitize communities about baby immunization.
Dr. Kioko was speaking in Mombasa on Tuesday at a training worship for Nursing Managers and Supervisors drawn from the 47 counties.
He called for concerted efforts to increase immunization across the country, saying that increased coverage would improve the health and wellbeing of children.
“As senior health workers in the counties, you must become proactive and encourage the population to take part in vaccinations to avert disease outbreaks,” he said.
Dr. Kioko challenged the nurses to go out of their way to increase immunization coverage at the health facility level.
“You need to generate your own data to help you identify problems and causes of low immunization coverage and find solutions to increase immunization coverage,” he said.