Involve stakeholders in vaccination drive

The altercation between the Ministry of Health and the Catholic Church over the viability of a new polio vaccine is unfortunate and uncalled for.

The frequent perennial clashes between the clergy and the public entity charged with Kenyans’ health are an unnecessary distraction on critical mass campaigns.

In the past, the clerics have taken issues with the Ministry’s vaccination drives against tetanus. Last year, the Church warned the faithful to reject the jab, claiming the vaccine could contain three hormones that could trigger fetuses to abort during pregnancy.

While we support keen vigilance by the Church and other stakeholders, we urge the Ministry to take the lead on similar exercises and consult widely. It is prudent for the Ministry to involve the clergy and as many public representative bodies as possible to avoid future conflicts.

These discordant voices only fuel confusion among Kenyans and the intended goal is lost in the push and pull. Polio and tetanus, for instance, are fatal diseases and vaccinations are critical. Nigeria once bungled a polio vaccination drive and had thousands of children dying of the infectious disease that left countless others crippled.

The Ministry should always share information on health campaigns with all stakeholders and address questions that may arise before launching the programmes.

This will avert confrontations in the media and other platforms that only portray vested personal interests.

Ultimately, the single-most important goal is to secure the well-being of all Kenyans and the future generations. Health is a matter of concern to everyone.