Kenya to undertake a new vaccination campaign to combat polio outbreak

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Polio Launch

The Kenyan Ministry of Health announced on Thursday that it will launch a second polio vaccination campaign.

Mary Muriuki, principal secretary for public health and professional standards in the Ministry of Health, told journalists in the national capital of Nairobi that the five-day vaccination campaign will start on Saturday. “The upcoming round will target 10 high-risk counties in northern Kenya, northeastern and eastern Kenya, central Kenya, the coastal region, and Nairobi.”

The ministry said the latest campaign marks a crucial step in the ongoing efforts to combat the recent polio outbreak in Garissa County in eastern Kenya in June.

Muriuki said the surveillance teams have detected an additional two polio cases, bringing the total number to eight, including a seven-year-old child. She said the confirmation reaffirmed that polio is a threat to all people, irrespective of age, in areas where population immunity is compromised.

“I, therefore, urge all parents to ensure their children receive all the required vaccine doses to prevent further polio outbreaks. This process begins with the birth dose and continues with additional doses at six weeks, 10 weeks, and 14 weeks,” Muriuki said.

The official said Kenya continues to undertake polio surveillance among children under the age of 15 years while at the same time undertaking environmental surveillance to detect suspected cases promptly, adding that Kenya is in the process of recruiting and training 100,000 community health promoters to strengthen efforts and ensure that vigilance is enhanced at the community level.

The official said a total of 1.96 million children under the age of five were vaccinated in the first round of vaccinations, which took place in August.

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