The Standard Group Plc is a multi-media organization with investments in media platforms spanning newspaper print operations, television, radio broadcasting, digital and online services. The Standard Group is recognized as a leading multi-media house in Kenya with a key influence in matters of national and international interest.
  • Standard Group Plc HQ Office,
  • The Standard Group Center,Mombasa Road.
  • P.O Box 30080-00100,Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Telephone number: 0203222111, 0719012111
  • Email: [email protected]

Kenya receives Sh1 billion donation to boost childhood immunisation

 Health CS Susan Nakhumicha speaks after flagging off a consignment of cold chain equipment. [Mercy Kahenda, Standard]

The Government of Kenya has received Sh1 billion donation to boost childhood immunisation programme.

The donation is part of the Cold Chain Equipment Optimization Program (CCEOP) grant from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance that aims to support immunisation delivery across the country.

The consignment of the 2,000 units of cold chain equipment was received on Tuesday by the Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha.

Nakhumicha said the equipment will increase vaccine equity and help reach the unreached, zero-dose and under-immunised children.

Speaking during the flagging off of the consignment, the CS assured that the Ministry of Health is committed to ensuring sustainable immunisation services, being core to attaining Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

"Immunisation is a key component of the primary health care package and a primary driver of UHC," said Nakhumicha

In Kenya, according to the Kenya Demographic Health Survey (KDHS 2022), despite efforts to boost immunisation rates, only 80 per cent of the children have been vaccinated, whereas there per cent have not received any vaccines.

Approximately 320,000 children below 12 months are partially vaccinated every year, out of whom approximately 48,000 are “zero dose” children, who have not received any vaccines.

The majority of children who miss out on vaccination are from marginalised areas and communities that face multiple deprivations, like insecurity.

Nakhumicha said to reach all children for immunisation, a functional cold chain system is key.

A functional immunisation supply chain process ensures vaccines are kept at the right temperature during the long journey from the manufacturing line to the syringe (vaccination of children).

UNICEF Kenya Representative Shaheen Nilofer said the supply of cold chain equipment to 2,061 health facilities across the country is key to the success of UHC.

Nilofer said the programme shall enable many children, adolescent girls, and women in the most marginalised, vulnerable, and hard-to-reach communities to be reached with lifesaving vaccines.

A well-functioning immunisation system is one of the cornerstones of primary health care and UHC, she said.

“With today’s successful flagging off of 2,061 cold chain items, we mark an important milestone in expanding the coverage and equity of primary health care and UHC in Kenya," said Nilofer.

She was optimistic that the cold chain equipment will guarantee the availability, accessibility and affordability of immunisation services, reaching all children, adolescent girls and women with safe high-quality lifesaving vaccines.

Kenya was among three pilot countries where the installation and commissioning of the CCOP was conducted.

The piloting was done with the support of UNICEF and Gavi through CCEOP.

 Health CS Susan Nakhumicha flagS off a consignment of cold chain equipment. [Mercy Kahenda, Standard]

The installation of the cold chain items in the 47 counties by the counties’ cold chain biomedical engineers, is currently ongoing with technical support by UNICEF and by the Ministry of Health through the national vaccination program, and is expected to be completed by April 2024.

Nilofer emphasised on immunisation and said it is a pillar of primary health care and UHC.

Immunisation vaccination is considered the most cost-effective public health measure, saving the lives of millions of children every year, around the world and in Kenya.

“UNICEF will continue to support tailored interventions to strengthen immunisation service delivery and reach the “zero dose” children,” said Nilofer.

UNICEF’s support includes integrated outreaches to reach the most vulnerable and remote populations and immunisation system strengthening activities including capacity building of health workers.

Additionally, UNICEF is expanding access to vaccines through procurement, distribution, installation and commissioning of cold chain equipment.

Other areas of support include procurement, clearing, distribution and deployment of routine infant vaccines, technical and financial support to the national level and counties.

Under the immunisation programme, counties are helped to develop and implement communication plans and mobilise communities for immunisation.

A 2016 national inventory revealed that approximately one in five health facilities in the country, representing 18 per cent, did not have cold chain equipment.

The facilities according to the report operated using vaccine carriers and cold boxes to offer short-term immunisation services, often leading to sub-optimal service delivery.

At least 81 per cent of the facilities with some type of cold chain equipment did not meet performance, quality, and safety (PQS) standards set for the immunisation supply chain in Kenya.

Nakhumicha said the report revealed worrying data, at a time when Kenya aspires to provide efficient, equitable, safe, and effective high-quality immunisation services.

In response to the report, the CS announced that the Ministry of Health worked on a joint investment initiative with, Gavi the Vaccine Alliance to provide Cold Chain Equipment to health facilities and sub-county depots in 47 counties.

“The initiative has resulted in 1,483 units of cold chain equipment worth $8,231,741 being distributed in all the 47 counties from 2017 to date,” she said.

Nakhumicha said to complement enhanced cold chain equipment, the Ministry of Health will continue to support the procurement, warehousing and distribution of all childhood, adolescent, and adult vaccines to regional depots.

The CS further called on county governments to also invest in the maintenance of cold chain equipment that ensure safe vaccine transport and storage.

Related Topics


Trending Now


Popular this week