TB drugs pledge welcome

Thursday January 7 2016

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The pledge by the Health Ministry that emergency supplies of vaccines to protect children from Tuberculosis (TB) will arrive in the country on Friday will come as a relief to expectant mothers and parents with newborn babies.

TB remains one of the leading causes of death in Kenya and exposing infants to infection due to a shortage of the vaccine risks rolling back the gains that the country has been making in improving child survival rates.

Although much progress has been made in the last decade, Kenya is lagging behind the standards set by the UN on child mortality and any factor that increases the risk of infection in infants ought to be treated as an emergency.

Such challenges should be mitigated with speed to ensure that children born in public hospitals are not exposed to preventable risks that could compromise their health or lives.

In the past, the Ministry has been slow in acknowledging the challenges facing public health services but in recent times, there appears to be new-found political will to address problems as and when they arise.

The ministry should continue being pro-active as it seeks to improve the quality of health care in public hospitals.