Drive to give free drugs targets 5.6 million people in five counties

Dr Abdourahmane Diallo, the World Health Organisation representative in Kenya. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Langat said part of the strategy is to upscale preventive chemotherapy treatment in areas where bilharzia and intestinal worms are of public health importance.

He said community mass drug administration had been proven to be the fastest means of lowering the burden of bilharzia and intestinal worms in areas where transmission of the infections has been established.

The Health ministry, he said, has so far provided free treatment to about 10 million people in Western, Coastal and Lake Regions where the diseases have been detected.

"Our target is to reach about six million people; about five million and one million for intestinal worms and bilharzia respectively."

The treatment will be administered by 12,000 community health volunteers.

Machakos deputy governor, Francis Mwangangi, said the county government is keen on partnering with the national government and development partners in eradicating NTDs.

"We have complied with President William Ruto's directive to take care of 50 per cent of the stipends for our Community Health Promoters while the national government commits to foot the other 50 per cent," Mwangangi said.

In Kitui, Chief Officer for Public Health and Sanitation Lynn Kitwan said drugs against common worms will be administered in all 40 wards across the county within the next four days.

According to the chief officer, Kitui County has already received drugs valued at Sh1.3 million from WHO.

Kitwan said 2,470 community health promoters had been trained and dispersed across the county to make the exercise a success.

"We have equipped them with knowledge and skills on the right dosage and what to do in case of drug reaction," Kitwan said.

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