Residents of Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo and West Pokot counties will undergo screening and immunisation against hepatitis B, which has become rampant in the region.
Health Permanent Secretary Peter Tum over the weekend said the exercise will continue for the next three months.
“The national government will carry out immunisation in Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo and West Pokot to deal with hepatitis B, which is prevalent in these counties,” he said after visiting Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos accompanied by Medical Services director Jackson Kioko.
He said the health ministry will partner with county governments to fight the outbreak.
Governor Tolgos said the county has established measures to deal with the disease, noting that a public screening exercise will be launched from next month.
“All the residents of Elgeyo Marakwet will undergo screening and immunisation from next month in affected areas,” he said.
More than 100 people have tested positive for the virus while at least 25 have died in Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo and West Pokot in the last four months.
Mr Tolgos said that the disease has become a major threat in the region, adding that available data indicates a high prevalence.
“Out of the 224 people tested in the past one week in Chegilet Health Centre alone, 21 tested positive,” he said, noting that the facility serves Elgeyo Marakwet and Baringo counties.
The devolved unit has taken urgent measures to carry out public awareness, testing and subsidised vaccination. The governor called upon all residents to get vaccinated to help in taming its spread.
Elgeyo Marakwet Health executive Kiprono Chepkok said the infection statistics are alarming. “Our people must go for screening and vaccination for lifetime immunity because the infection is rampant,” he said.
He added that the devolved unit had lowered the cost of vaccination to Sh600 from Sh1,000 after new cases were reported, raising fears that the disease could spread fast.
“We have brought down the cost after 13 cases were recorded in Endo ward, with one case each in Emsoo and Soy South wards,” he said.