Home NEWS County News State assures safety of polio vaccine, launches campaign

State assures safety of polio vaccine, launches campaign

polio THE NATIONAL MEDIA AND STAKEHOLDER BREAKFAST MEETING FOR THE EMERGENCY POLIO VACCINATION CAMPAIGN

The government has called on parents and caregivers to have all children under five immunized even as it assured the safety of the polio vaccine.

Speaking during national media and stakeholders breakfast meeting for the emergency polio vaccination campaign, Acting Director-General of Health, Dr. Patrick Amoth, said government´s focus must be on early outbreak detection stressing that there is need for robust primary healthcare systems to detect cases.

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“To prevent these outbreaks, we need robust primary healthcare systems to detect cases. We must advocate for our children to benefit from available science. The vaccine is safe. Parents, caregivers, religious and opinion leaders should unite to ensure children are vaccinated.” Said Dr. Amoth.

This came as the Ministry of Health announced its plans to conduct three rounds of emergency police vaccination campaigns across ten counties.

The exercise targets 7.4 million children aged under five years in the ten counties identified with the highest risk of polio transmission namely; Nairobi, Kiambu, Kajiado, Garissa, Kitui, Machakos, Tana River, Lamu, Wajir, and Mandera.

Speaking during National Media and Stakeholders breakfast meeting for the emergency polio vaccination campaign,same event, Health PS Mary Muthoni said, the three round campaign will be launched at Ruiru Level 4 Hospital, Kiambu County, on Thursday at 9:30 AM, with initial focus on Kiambu, Nairobi, Kajiado, and Garissa counties, where the Ministry aims to vaccinate approximately 1.8 million children.

“The first round of this campaign is scheduled from Thursday, 24th to 28th August 2023 with initial focus on Kiambu, Nairobi, Kajiado, and Garissa counties, where we aim to vaccinate approximately 1.8 million children.” Said PS Muthoni.

Subsequently, the second and third rounds will target 2.8 million children each. They will be conducted between September and October 2023 in 10 counties: Kiambu, Nairobi, Kajiado, Garissa, Lamu, Tana River, Wajir, Mandera, Kitui, and Machakos Counties.

“As a ministry, we recognize that the fight against polio is not the responsibility of the Ministry alone. It is a collective mission that requires the support of every Kenyan. This is where the media fraternity, among other stakeholders, plays a pivotal role. You have the power to inform, educate, and inspire communities to actively engage in this vaccination campaign. Your assistance in disseminating accurate information and countering misinformation is invaluable.” She added.

Dr. Iheoma Onuekawusi, Lead for Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases Cluster, representing the World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative emphasized on robust cross-border collaboration and addressing surveillance gaps across international borders. 

He called on parents to have children under 5 immunized, regardless of immunization status saying every child under 5 should receive the dose.

On their part, UNICEF assured that the polio vaccine is safe and accessible.

“We’re putting children’s health first in our communities. The polio vaccine is safe and accessible. Our dedication to supporting the Kenyan government in healthcare delivery remains unwavering.” Dr. Yaron Wolman, Chief of Health at UNICEF Kenya.

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