19 January 2017

Kenya: Over 700,000 Children Targeted in Nairobi Polio Campaign

Nairobi County has targeted 725,733 children aged below five years in a five-day polio campaign that kicked off on Wednesday.

The campaign was postponed from December last year due to health workers' strike that paralysed services in public health institutions.

Speaking during the launch at Gertrude Hospital in Kithogoro, Runda Nairobi Health Executive Bernard Muia said that they expect a 100 per cent turn up by the end of the campaign.

The campaign is being conducted in 15 counties mapped as high risk areas.

They include Nairobi, Lamu, Tana River, Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit, Isiolo, Samburu, Turkana, West Pokot, Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Bungoma and Busia.

According to Dr Muia, the campaign will be carried out on a door-to-door basis and in hospitals and churches as well.

Parents, guardians, caretakers and the public have been urged to support exercise especially in gated communities who deny health workers access.

"Some vaccinating teams will be deployed to temporary posts like schools and churches and transit points to ensure that no eligible child misses out," said Dr Muia.

He said that the county had urged the church not to resist the exercise as it was important for all children explaining that the vaccines being administered are the same ones used in routine immunisation programme in all public, private and faith-based health facilities.

Additionally, he said, the vaccines have been tested by the National Quality Control Laboratory and found to be safe.

World Health Organization representative Dr Thomas Ogange said that the campaign had been launched after an outbreak was reported in Nigeria last year.

"The detection of polio cases in Nigeria last year pose a risk to Kenya owing to the significant population movement between the two countries," said Dr Ogange.


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