Over 10,000 children under the age of one year in Bomet County missed vaccination against preventable diseases in 2018/2019 financial year.
According to Kenya Aids NGOs Consortium (KENCO) expert Mr Stephen Ikonya Bomet County was one of the 16 Counties nationally which missed the national target of immunization of children under the age of one year.
Speaking in Bomet town during a one-day sensitization workshop for health officials, Mr Ikonya said that the County target was to immunize 34,733 children but the health department managed 23,000 complete vaccinations as 10,000 others were left out.
“While the national target of vaccination of children against preventable diseases stood at 80% percent, Bomet managed only 68% percent which was far lower despite the fact that accessibility to health services was high,” Mr. Ikonya said, adding that the county had 148 immunization centres and in most cases parents and care givers could not take their children for vaccinations.
The officer coordinating Kenya Expanded Programme on Immunization (KEPI) in Bomet County, Mrs. Josephine Mutai appealed to health workers to make follow ups on defaulters to ensure that all children are vaccinated.
“Bomet County fell short of the national target due to caregivers defaulting from completing the immunization programme and this will be sorted by health workers working with communities neighbouring health facilities to ensure that all children under the age of one year are vaccinated,” Mrs. Mutai said.
She appealed to health workers to change the attitude on the clientele they serve and give quality services which will make caregivers bring the children in following visits.
“Some caregivers default because of a simple reason like misplacing immunization books as they fear that they will be turned away in case they came without book or cards such attitude must stop,” she stated.
Mrs. Mutai at the same time appealed to the county government of Bomet to engage the services of Community Health Workers (CHW) if the county expected to improve on the vaccination of children against preventable diseases.
By Joseph Obwocha