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Kenya hails milestones in cholera and polio campaigns

The Ministry of Health says it has achieved notable milestones in its ongoing efforts to combat cholera and polio outbreaks.

According to the Principal Secretary State Department for Public Health and Professional Standards Mary Muthoni, the rollout of the emergency vaccination campaigns has exceeded a coverage rate of 100pc.

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“With the Cholera vaccination campaign launched across eight counties on August 3rd, 2023, and the successful conclusion of the first round of the Polio emergency vaccination Response Campaign, Kenya continues to make determined strides against serious but preventable diseases,” she said.

On the Cholera outbreak, she confirmed 12,079 cases and 200 deaths in 27 counties but was quick to assure that the campaigns, simultaneously carried out in eight targeted highest-risk counties had yielded impressive results.

“Over the course of 10 days, a commendable 1,669,759 individuals received vaccinations in the eight counties. This achievement exceeded the initial target of 1,590,378, reaching an exceptional coverage rate of 104.5%” she stated.

She assured that the commitment to proactive public health strategies remains strong, with plans in place for preventive Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV) campaigns throughout 2024.

“This initiative aims to encompass all high-risk counties over a comprehensive three-year period, emphasizing Kenya’s dedication to sustained public health enhancements” she added.

The country has finalized the National Multisectoral Cholera Elimination Plan towards ending the disease by 2030.

On Polio Drive launched last month, following the confirmation of six cases, a total of 1,957,476 children under five received vaccinations, achieving a coverage rate of 104.2%.

The campaign that was held from August 24th to August 28th, 2023, focused on vaccinating all children under the age of five in four high-risk counties of Nairobi, Kiambu, Kajiado, and Garissa.

The subsequent second rounds of reactive Supplementary Immunization Activities (SIA)are scheduled for September 28th to October 2nd, 2023, and November 2023.

The Ministry announced that it was extending its scope from four counties to 10 high-risk counties. They are Lamu, Wajir, Tana River, Machakos, Mandera and Kitui.

A total of over 2.8 million children are targeted in both rounds.

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