18 July 2018

Kenya: Over 20,000 Children in Lamu County Get Anti-Polio Vaccine

Photo: P.Utomi Ekpei /WHO
(file photo).

Lamu County has achieved 106 per cent reach of children immunized against polio in the just-concluded first phase of the campaign targeting those below five years.

Before the five-day campaign started, the Lamu County Health department had announced that it was targeting at least 95 per cent success rate, which translates to about 21,217 children.

Speaking to journalists in Lamu during the release of the polio immunization report on Wednesday, Lamu County Deputy Director for Health Services Victor Tole said a total of 22,565 children under the age of five years were immunized.

The first phase of the campaign took place between July 11 and 15.

Dr Tole said a total of 18,875 children were immunized in Lamu West Sub-County while 3,690 were immunized in Lamu East.

BONI FOREST

For the first time, most children in the terror-prone region of Basuba Ward and other villages bordering Boni Forest were covered in this year's polio vaccination.

On various occasion, children in Basuba and areas around Boni Forest have missed out on the polio vaccination or end up receiving the vaccination very late due to the insecurity challenges attributed to attacks by Al-Shabaab militants.

"We are happy that the first phase of the polio vaccination in our county ended successfully. First, our objective as the health department was to ensure at least 95 per cent of children here received the immunization. We thank God that we finally managed to exceed the objective and reached a 106 per cent achievement mark. Lamu West did especially well by recording 109 per cent while Lamu East had 94 per cent," said Dr Tole.

DRIVE LAUDED

Lamu County Disease Surveillance Officer James Mbugua lauded the strides made in the recently concluded exercise and said it will go a long way in ensuring Lamu develops more immunity to polio and measles.

According to a recent report from the surveillance office, Lamu's resistance against polio and measles is still at its lowest.

But Mr Mbugua said the percentage can easily go up if locals take such immunizations seriously and bring out their children for the same.

Lamu County Public Health Promotion Officer Mohamed Muhsin said areas prone to insecurity in Lamu East like those around the Boni Forest are especially challenging to reach for the immunization.

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