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Measles vaccine kicks off next week

Health & Science

The Government is set to launch a Sh2.1 billion vaccination campaign targeting 19 million children.

Children aged six months to 14 years will receive the measles-rubella (MR) vaccine from next Monday.

Health Principal Secretary Nicholas Muraguri emphasised the importance of vaccination to prevent a national epidemic.

"Vaccination saves live. Every child has the right to be vaccinated, please bring them," urged Dr Muraguri during a media briefing yesterday in Nairobi.

He said the exercise would be carried out by 42,000 health workers and 24,000 trained volunteers from May 16 to 24.

Also, the contested Tetanus vaccine by the Catholic Church will also be administered on women within the reproductive age of 15 to 49 years to protect them against neonatal tetanus that causes stillborn births and health issues among newborns.

MR will be carried out in 20,000 immunisation centres while the tetanus jab will be concentrated in 11 counties - Kilifi, Mombasa, Meru, Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Baringo, West Pokot, Turkana, Samburu and Narok.

The Disease Surveillance and Response Unit had reported that of the 1,570 suspected measles cases, 30 per cent were rubella positive.

"This is an indication of high occurrence of rubella that is easily mistaken for measles," said Muraguri.

The country loses one child every day to the silent killer. The campaign will be conducted mostly in health facilities, churches and schools.

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