The Ministry of Health is urging Kenyans not to lower their guard during this Easter holiday.
In a statement Thursday, CS Health Mutahi Kagwe noted that the war against Covid-19 is not a war that the government can tackle alone and will require the support and co-operation of every Kenyan.
“Defeat is not an option…WE MUST win this war! We are greatly encouraged by the majority of our people who have personally taken up the initiative to ensure the spread of the virus is curtailed” said Kagwe.
“As you are all aware, the recent Presidential directives saw movement restriction introduced in five counties considered to be disease infected zones. These counties are Nairobi, Nakuru, Kajiado, Kiambu and Machakos. People resident in these counties know they cannot travel to other parts of the country nor hold parties during the long break. We also expect that even those residents in the other 42 counties will not travel to different parts of the country nor hold parties, in order to curtail the spread of this virus.” He added
The CS noted that the disease has no legs of its own has to be moved by people between places and called on Kenyans not go to places where they are likely to be exposed, or expose others unnecessarily.
On the ongoing vaccination exercise, the CS said already over 800,000 doses have been dispatched for vaccination countrywide.
“So far the balance of vaccines that are at our national level amount to 314, 000, while at the regional level there are 261,500 still left. In the sub county stores there is a balance of 138, 000. Other health facilities have received 406,500 doses.” Said the CS
The Government aims at vaccinating 26 million Kenyans by June next year.
The target group for this phase includes health workers, teachers, uniformed forces, religious leaders and all Kenyans over 58 years.
“However, there are several Kenyans who are not in this category currently receiving the jab and this has caused increased demand for vaccines in our facilities. We are happy that there is great demand for the vaccine by Kenyans. But we are appealing to the younger people and members of the other professions currently not in phase one to be patient. Let us not panic or become anxious. The Government will provide vaccines for all adults in Kenya in a phased approach.” Appealed the CS
Kagwe at the same time appealed to all our health facilities approved to administer the vaccine, to ensure that all Kenyans are registered through the online CHANJO Kenya system.
This he said is because it will ensure that the information is available for proper planning and distribution of vaccines. The system is also for accountability purposes.
“We urge counties to ensure that all Kenyans are registered so that they can also receive their information via SMS as necessary. Counties not entering data in Chanjo.Ke are doing a great dis-service to our data system, as this leads to gaps between vaccines supplied and vaccine reported.” He said
At the same time, he noted that the Ministry of Health is leading the push to identify other sources of vaccines to ensure that there is adequate supply of COVID vaccines in the country.
“In this regard, the Government is exploring ways of increasing vaccine supply through talks with other partners like, Africa Union and also through direct negotiations with vaccine manufacturers. The vaccine supply globally has been a significant challenge, as countries around the globe have restricted export of vaccines from their countries. We urge global partners to be equitable and fair to all countries that are also facing the same challenges managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Government expects to receive another 2.5 million vaccines next month.
The consignment he said will go a long way in boosting the vaccination exercise in the second phase which will see more Kenyans receive the jab.
In total Kenya expects to receive about 20 million doses from the Covax facility this calendar year.