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Polio vaccination: Health Ministry targets 7.4m children by December


Public Health Principal Secretary Mary Muriuki. [Samson Wire, Standard]

The Ministry of Health has announced the Polio vaccination campaign across ten hotspot counties will begin on Thursday, August 24. 

This comes months after two polio cases were detected in Hagadera Refugee Camp, Garissa County.

In a statement on Tuesday, August 22, State Department for Public Health and Professional Standards Principal Secretary, Mary Muriuki said the exercise targets 7.4 million children below five years.

“The three-round campaign which aims to reach 7.4 million children under five in three rounds will be launched at Ruiru Level 4 Hospital, Kiambu County, this Thursday at 9:30 am." 

Additionally, the PS has also revealed that the ministry has identified ten counties with the highest risk of polio transmission.

“In response to these new challenges, the Ministry of Health has taken swift action. We have identified ten counties with the highest risk of polio transmission, namely Nairobi, Kiambu, Kajiado, Garissa, Kitui, Machakos, Tana River, Lamu, Wajir, and Mandera as the focal points of our emergency polio vaccination campaign,” the PS said.

The vaccination will be done in three phases: the first round will run for four days beginning Thursday, August 24 to Sunday, August 28, 2023. It will focus only on Kiambu, Nairobi, Kajiado, and Garissa counties, with the aim of vaccinating an estimated 1.8 million children.

The second round will extend to Lamu, Tana River, Wajir, Mandera, Kitui, and Machakos counties from September to December.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Kenya reported two polio cases from Hagadera refugee camp, the second largest refugee camp in the world and home to over 100, 000 refugees.

As a result, WHO said a semi-national polio vaccination exercise was planned, and set to begin in August this year.

Additional information by Samson Wire. 

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