Kenya steps up immunisation to tame killer diseases
Kenya’s Health Ministry has said that it had stepped up vaccination targeting vulnerable groups like children and women in order to reduce deaths linked to infectious and non-communicable diseases
Nairobi: Kenya’s Health Ministry has said that it had stepped up vaccination targeting vulnerable groups like children and women in order to reduce deaths linked to infectious and non-communicable diseases
Susan Nakhumicha, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Health, said on Wednesday that during the launch of World Immunisation Week in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, that there are plans to upscale routine immunisation coverage to 100 per cent up from the current 80 per cent.
“We must therefore put all our efforts together in reaching the last child, no one should be left behind,” she added while clarifying that national immunisation programmes were resilient despite some headwinds facing the public health sector.
Nakhumicha stressed that the country has seen an overall improvement in vaccination coverage, noting that the goal was to ensure all newborn children were inoculated against killer ailments like tuberculosis and malaria, Xinhua news agency reported.
She said the government has invested in supportive infrastructure like cold chain facilities, capacity building of health workers and public outreach campaigns to help realise universal immunisation coverage. Kenya’s health personnel have been encouraged to scale up vaccination campaigns targeting the elderly and citizens living with co-morbidities amid their vulnerability to fatal ailments.
She stressed that this year’s national immunisation week presents an opportunity to re-energise efforts to inoculate all infants, adding that adolescent girls who have received the vaccine against cervical cancer have recorded improved health outcomes.
Nakhumicha also said the government has intensified vaccination to help contain recurrent measles outbreaks in the country, adding that provision of the second dose of measles vaccine targeting children is in the works.