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Over 200,000 children set to receive oral polio vaccine in Mandera County

Health & Science
 Mandera County CEC Health during the vaccination exercise at Mandera County Referral Hospital on October 7, 2023. [Ibrahim Adan Ali, Standard]

268,678 children in Mandera will receive novel oral polio vaccine type 2 (nOPV2) as the campaign kicks off today in the county

According to County Executive Committee (CEC) member for health Mohamed Omar, the campaign has been triggered by eight polio cases that have been confirmed positive in the neighbouring Garissa county.

"This campaign is informed by the fact that Kenya is currently experiencing a cVDPV2 outbreak in Garissa County where eight (8) cases have been confirmed. This has put the Country and neighbouring Counties on the spot and therefore efforts were made to ensure the transmission is contained within the shortest time possible," read part of his speech

Omar said due to low routine vaccination coverage and cross-border movements, Mandera is among six counties facing a high risk of contracting the virus.

He added the campaign strategy to eradicate polio in Mandera involves house-to-house outreach to ensure every child is immunized.

“We must reach out to all households as this campaign targets all children of age Zero (0) to five (5) years who are at risk of contracting poliovirus disease if exposed," said Omar.

 Minhaj Hassan of Core Group Partners Project vaccinates Abdi Hussein at Mandera County Referral Hospital on October 7, 2023. [Ibrahim Adan Ali, Standard]

Omar urged all the health personnel and community health volunteers to maximize the vaccination and reach out to all hard-to-reach areas in the county

"The total target population for this nOPV2 campaign is 268,678 children in Mandera County. We must endeavour to reach 100% of this target," said Omar.

While acknowledging the support of the Ministry of Health and the Polio Project Core Group among other partners, the CEC called for full protection of all children against polio disease

"Your commitment and support are at the forefront of our battle against poliovirus disease. let us seize this opportunity to protect our children from the devastating effects of poliovirus disease," he said

According to Abukar Siraj, Global Health Security Coordinator of Core group partners project and ADRA Kenya, 66 teams will be vaccinating at border crossing areas and nomadic settlements across the seven sub-counties along Somalia and Ethiopia's borders.

"We have engaged 66 health volunteers across seven sub-counties who will be delivering the vaccine to our children living along the borderlines with Somalia and Ethiopia," said Siraj.

The campaign will run from Saturday, October 7, 2023, to Friday, October 13, 2023, targeting all children under five years of age across the county.

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