The government targets to vaccinate at least 13 million Kenyans against Coronavirus disease by December this year, Acting Director-General for Health Dr. Patrick Amoth has disclosed.
Amoth said the ministry has ordered 13 million doses of single-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine which are expected in the country soon.
The vaccine, he noted, was effective as compared to the two-shot AstraZeneca vaccine which had earlier been ordered and which most Kenyans have so far taken.
“Initially we placed an order of 10 million doses at a cost of Sh3.5 billion but we negotiated very strongly and out of that we shall now get 13 million doses,” said the official.
While urging Kenyans to take up the opportunity once the vaccine arrives in the country, the acting DG said the virus might stay for long hence the need for everyone to get vaccinated so that they cannot suffer its serious effects which might cause mortalities.
Amoth further stated that many developed countries have been willing to donate the vaccines to the country since, “they know we have the capacity to utilise it” but such was being hampered by its expiry periods which he said was short.
The acting DG was speaking at Tenwek Mission Hospital in Bomet during the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of Sh4.5 billion Billy Graham Memorial Cardiothoracic Centre.
The 174-bed surgical and training facility, which will be the largest of its kind in the region, will also have 52 intensive care units, post-anesthesia units, six major operating theatres, cauterization suits, five endoscopy rooms and an outpatient clinic.
The Hospital’s Board Chairman Dr. Robert Langat said they intend to conduct 2, 000 major heart and chest surgeries in addition to performing thousands of endoscopies and cauterizations.
Langat revealed that the facility has performed more than 2, 000 heart surgeries since 2008 with more than 650 cases on the waiting list at the moment.
Amoth at the same time stated that about 4, 000 children are born yearly with heart-related diseases.
He pointed out that with lack of a proper facility for cardiovascular patients, the country has been operating just 1, 000 surgeries as compared to 15, 000 which should be conducting yearly.
By Lamech Arisa