Ministry fights measles outbreak in West Pokot, Garissa counties

Children getting immunised in the ongoing measles, mumps and rubella vaccination in Wajir County. [Jeckonia Otieno, Standard]

The Ministry of Health is planning to roll out massive immunisation campaign in West Pokot and Garissa counties following measles outbreak.

According to a disease outbreak report by the ministry, dated May 29, a total of 615 cases of measles have been reported, out of which, 31 confirmed and one death reported.

Of the confirmed cases, eight are in Fafi Sub County, Garissa County and 23 in West Pokot. The death was reported in Pokot North.

The report noted that the outbreak in West Pokot has been continuous since October 2019, affecting Pokot North, Pokot Central, Pokot South and West Pokot sub-counties. Director of Public Health, Ministry of Health, Francis Kuria said improved outreaches visit to improve immunisation coverage for affected areas is ongoing.

“Campaigns to boost immunisation of measles alongside polio and other childhood diseases will boost uptake of immunisation and avert outbreak of diseases,” said Dr Kuria.

The ministry has further directed the two counties to contact tracing of cases and case search in the community and from the affected health facilities. They have also been asked to stock adequate diseases of measles-rubella vaccines and vitamin A.

Outbreak of dengue fever has also been reported in six sub-counties in Mombasa County. A total of 424 cases have been reported, out of which, 24 cases have been confirmed. The cases were reported in Changamwe, Jomvu, Kisauni, Likoni, Mvita and Nyali sub-counties.

The county is conducting community sensitisation to curb infections following increased cases of dengue fever disease. Cases of the mosquito-borne tropical disease, caused by the dengue virus, have been on an increase since March this year.

Public health officials have been dispatched to affected areas.