Kenya to conduct major vaccination campaign against measles and tetanus

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The Kenyan Ministry of Health and multilateral partners will from May 16 to 24 conduct nationwide vaccination campaign against measles and tetanus targeting 19 million children and 800,000 women of child bearing age.

The principal secretary in the ministry, Nicholas Muraguri, said at a media briefing on Thursday that the largest immunisation drive against the two highly infectious diseases since independence would cost 20 million dollars.

Muraguri said that the government has invested in adequate infrastructure and personnel to ensure the eight day vaccination exercise against measles and tetanus is carried out without hitches.

“The new vaccination campaign against measles and tetanus has been endorsed by all our key partners as we embark on the journey to eliminate the two diseases by 2020,’’ Muraguri said.

He added that the ministry aimed to achieve 95 per cent coverage during the forthcoming measles immunisation targeting children aged between 9 months to 14 years.

“This is a historic immunisation campaign against measles and we expect it to have a huge impact.

“It will be carried out in health facilities, schools and places of worship countrywide.

“Kenya is on course to achieve the 2020 target of measles elimination thanks to routine immunisation, improved surveillance alongside case management,’’ Muraguri told newsmen.

According to him, the tetanus vaccination campaign targets women aged 15 to 49 years in eleven high burden counties in northern Kenya.
Muraguri regretted the bacterial disease has been a drawback in the efforts to promote maternal and child health.

Kenya is among African countries that have significantly reduced the burden of measles this decade.

According to the ministry, confirmed measles cases in Kenya dropped from 2,559 in 2011 to 67 in 2015.

However, it noted that the battle against tetanus remained an uphill task as the country loses a child every day due to the bacterial infection. (Xinhua/NAN)

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