By Checky Abuje email@example.com
The Kenya government in partnership with the World Health Organisation and UNICEF, has rolled out a massive Measles-Rubella diseases vaccination campaign targeting children between 9 and 18 months, starting 25th June through 6th July 2021.
The vaccination campaign follows revelation by research carried out by the ministry of health that there is an upward trajectory of infections from the two life-threatening diseases (Measles-Rubella) in Kenya.
Measles-Rubella are viral infections that are highly dangerous if not managed early enough. Children and women are at high risk of infection, although anyone can contract the disease. In women for instance, Measles-Rubella infection results into giving birth to children with physical defects including impaired hearing and distorted eyesight.
In the Lake Region County of Busia, the exercise was launched by Deputy Governor, H.E. Moses Mulomi who challenged local residents within his jurisdiction to take advantage of the national vaccination campaign rollout and ensure that children are immunized to salvage lives against the devastating effects of Measles-Rubella.
He said both Measles and Rubella are life threatening diseases just like tetanus and other infectious disease, adding that the consequences are dire if not managed. The consequences include; Brain damage, pneumonia, blindness, heart complications, loss of hearing and eyesight abilities.
However, following the risk assessment by the ministry of Health in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, 22 Counties out of 47 of Kenya, are at high risk of Measles- Rubella infection hence the need for the campaign to mitigate the spread which is through coughing and sneezing.
The counties include Busia, Nairobi, Kakamega, Baringo, Migori, Kisii, Kilifi, Kisumu and Bomet.
Other counties are Tana River, Vihiga, Bungoma, Turkana, Trans Nzoia, West Pokot, Narok, Kajiado and Elgeyo Marakwet. Garissa, Wajir, Mandera and Homabay counties are also ranked hotshots for the two diseases.
In the County Government of Busia for instance, the Department of Health and Sanitation targets to vaccinate 101,689 children aged between nine to 59 months between 25th June and 6th July 2021. The vaccination will be administered in public health facilities, markets, schools and churches across the county.
“We urge residents to ensure that children are immunized to prevent measles and rubella disease transmission,” said Mulomi, adding that it will protect them against diseases associated with measles and rubella virus including eye and respiratory infections.
The Deputy Governor lauded the efforts by the national government and other partners in ensuring that children are vaccinated against the disease.
His remarks were echoed by the Chief Officer Medical Services, Dr. Isaac Omeri and his Public Health Counterpart Jonathan Ino who urged residents to support efforts by the national and county governments and other partners in ensuring that the exercise achieves the intended objective.
Busia County Director Medical Services, Dr Janerose Ambuchi revealed that over 200 children have been infected by the disease, cautioning residents against being misled by rumours that the vaccine is unsafe.
“Prevention is better than cure. Let us embrace the vaccine to fight the disease which remains among killer diseases,” said the director.