Ministry targets 1.8 million children in polio vaccination drive

The vaccination will be done from this Saturday to Wednesday next week.

Wednesday March 2 2016

Nominated Senator Harold Kipchumba administers a polio vaccine to a child. Ministry of Health assured families that the polio vaccine is safe, rigorously tested by various agencies and is the same as the one administered at public and faith-based hospitals. PHOTO | COURTESY

Nominated Senator Harold Kipchumba administers a polio vaccine to a child. Ministry of Health assured families that the polio vaccine is safe, rigorously tested by various agencies and is the same as the one administered at public and faith-based hospitals. PHOTO | COURTESY 

By EUNICE KILONZO
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Close to two million children under the age of five in 13 counties are targeted in a new polio vaccination campaign.

Head of Immunisation at the Health ministry Collins Tabu said on Tuesday the latest campaign  would mainly target children who miss out on the routine immunisation.

“We are targeting Marsabit, Isiolo, Tharaka Nithi, Wajir, Mandera, Garissa, Lamu, Tana River, Turkana, Narok, Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, and West Pokot,” said Dr Tabu.

UNDER FIVE

The vaccination will be done from this Saturday to Wednesday next week.

A nationwide vaccination drive targeting nine million children is set to start on April 9.

It also emerged that nearly 300,000 children miss out on vaccination annually.

According to the ministry, this puts them and those around them at a risk of getting the infections.

Dr Tabu said about 1.5 million children are born in Kenya annually.

Of this, 1.2 million are vaccinated, out of which about 200,000 fail to develop immunity which puts them at risk.

It means at a given time, about half a million children are vulnerable.

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