Garissa County has begun a two-week long vaccination campaign, targeting at keeping measles at bay.
The immunization programme aims at inoculating 165,000 children between nine months and four and a half years age group.
The County’s Deputy Director for preventive health services, Ibrahim Gedi has said the campaign will be carried out in all Garissa sub counties. Residents are expected to get the vaccine services at specific health centres across the county.
“The sub counties are fully prepared for the vaccination exercise. Inclusive of health centers, immunization will also be happening in special tent sites. We will also have our officers visiting households and schools,” he said.
Mr Gedi noted the challenge of many parents not taking vaccination seriously, as most of them rarely takes their children to the hospitals for inoculation. He appealed to the locals to ensure they take advantage of the County’s free vaccine campaign in order to safeguard health safety of the infants.
The Ministry of Health official Dr Tabitha Okech, also said the infants were contracting the infectious viral disease through the mothers, who neglect the Government’s immunization efforts. She added that measles vaccination is crucial for the health wellbeing of children.
Northeastern region administrator, Ignatius Mukabwa urged residents to turn out for the vaccination campaign, pledging that security will be reinforced throughout the immunization exercise.
“Parents, religious leaders, civil society, the provincial administration, teachers and health officials will be key in the success of the two weeks exercise. The vaccination is free, so let us ensure our children are vaccinated against measles, which has become a burden disease to the society and brought health complications,” said Mr Mukabwa.
On Friday, the Ministry of Health rolled out free vaccination campaign against Measles and Rubella diseases, aiming at immunizing 3.5 million children under the age of five years, in 22 counties, including Garissa.
Speaking during the launch of the campaign, Health CAS Dr Mercy Mwangangi said the exercise is targeting children who have contracted the infection, as a result of parents’ failure to take them to the health centres for vaccination.
“With the onset of the pandemic, 2.1 million children are at a risk of contracting measles and rubella diseases,” she added.
The Ministry of Health has also announced that Vitamin A supplement will also be made available during the exercise to boost the immunity system of the children.