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Kenya tightens measures to keep out yellow fever

Health & Science

Anyone coming to Kenya from Uganda or Angola will have to adhere to the yellow fever immunisation protocol.

The Ministry of Health yesterday said any Kenyan coming into the country from Uganda or Angola without a valid yellow fever certificate would be quarantined.

If they test negative for the disease, they will be vaccinated and released. If the results are inconclusive, another test will be ran, read excerpts from the ministry’s advisory. Foreigners who do not have valid certificates will be denied entry.

Despite Kenya being rated as a low-risk country for yellow fever infection with the last outbreak recorded in 1992, sources at the ministry told The Standard that stringent surveillance measures were instituted at the country’s entry points where all travellers are required to show proof of yellow fever vaccination.

The measures are in line with a World Health Organisation (WHO) advisory published on Wednesday last week. The WHO advisory urged member states to strengthen immunisation controls especially for those where the transmitting Aedes mosquito species was present.

“In the context of an ongoing yellow fever outbreak in Angola, special attention should also be placed on travellers returning from Angola and other potentially endemic areas,” the WHO advisory reads in part.

Vaccination Campaign

In the past one week, Uganda has confirmed 13 yellow fever cases with a vaccination campaign scheduled to begin this week in Masaka.

Earlier this month, Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu dismissed as misleading posters in Uganda that stated there was yellow fever in parts of Kenya.

“International spread of the disease is documented. Recent imported cases of yellow fever have been detected in China, Kenya and Democratic Republic of the Congo,” Uganda said.

Dr Mailu said the two cases reported last month posed no threat to public health as carriers who had travelled into Kenya were past the five-day infective stage and thus could not pass on the disease.

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