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Home / Health & Science

Rural Siaya keener on Covid jabs than urban Kibra

HEALTH & SCIENCEBy MERCY KAHENDA | Mon,Nov 15 2021 00:00:00 EAT
By MERCY KAHENDA | Mon,Nov 15 2021 00:00:00 EAT

There is more uptake of Covid-19 jabs in villages of rural Siaya County than in Kibra in Nairobi, according to a recent survey.

A preliminary scientific analysis reveals that residents of Asembo in Siaya are more knowledgeable on the availability of vaccines and the need for uptake than those in Kibra.

The report notes that “awareness of the existence of a Covid-19 vaccine was higher in Asembo (90 per cent) than Kibra (67) per cent,” adds the report which also notes that 84 per cent of participants from Asembo would accept the jab as opposed to 60 per cent from Kibra.

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Even as the Ministry of Health revamps on educating and sensitising the public on the importance of vaccine uptake, hesitancy remained a concern among local and reasons cited by the study include safety concerns at 37 per cent, insufficient information at 19 per cent and lack of belief in the vaccine at 17 per cent.

Low knowledge on vaccines was witnessed irrespective of Kenya having received more than seven million doses.

The study titled Covid-19 Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices and Vaccine Acceptability in Rural Western Kenya and an Urban Nairobi Informal Settlement, Kenya involved 856 participants of which 458 (54 per cent) were from Asembo and 398 (46 per cent) from Kibra.

The survey was conducted from April 21 to May 5 this year using randomly selected adults based infectious diseases surveillance (PBIDS) cohort in Nairobi and Siaya counties. In both Asembo and Kibera adult residents had a high level of Covid-19-related knowledge.

Further, the report noted that residents of Asembo trust religious leaders, health care workers and government health authorities, while those in Kibera trust World Health Organisation (WHO), scientists and health care workers more.

But the respondents were generally satisfied with the government’s measures to prevent Covid-19- understanding in Kibra stood at 81 per cent and 82 per cent in Asembo.

Scientists noted that target messaging should be key in Kibra, to boost uptake as “urban informal settlements like Kibra may require targeted messaging to improve vaccine awareness, acceptability, and uptake as Covid-19 vaccines become more available”.

However, approximately 90 per cent of participants in Asembo and 82 per cent in Kibra were worried about contracting the virus.

On a positive note, nearly all respondents, representing 96 per cent, in both sites observed public health containment measures including “handwashing with 72 per cent of rural, and 68 per cent of urban participants reporting always using soap when washing hands.”

Proper wearing of face mask was reported by 93 per cent of participants from Asembo and 95 percent in Kibra.

Scientists noted that the findings will be valuable in guiding the design and distribution of information, education, and communication (IECs) materials on Covid-19 mitigation strategies, including vaccines with media campaigns singled out as crucial in reinforcing Covid-19 knowledge, attitudes, and adherence to mitigation measures in both rural and urban populations in Kenya.

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