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Communities challenged on world immunization week

As the world marks the immunization week which commenced on 24th April and runs till 30th April, the baton has been directed to communities as they have a huge role in ensuring people of all ages in their localities are immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases.

With the theme for this year being ‘long life for all’, Dr. Cynthia Nduta of Kiambu County Level 5 Hospital has called upon community leaders to work closely with Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) in advocating and creating awareness in remote rural areas on the importance of vaccines for all ages.

“In efforts to ensure that people of all ages’ access vaccinations to help in reducing the number of deaths and preventable disability like physical impairment caused by polio, community heads are key with their voices in respective areas, thus their role should not be under looked in matters of sensitization,” said Dr. Nduta.

She noted that with the challenge of myths and misconceptions about vaccines especially those prescribed for young children below 5 years, it would be of great significance if channels such as vernacular radio stations which are more relatable to those in remote rural areas be well utilized by community leaders in conjunction with CHVs to create simple messages for awareness.

Some of the preventable diseases through vaccine administration includes: polio, cholera, tetanus, measles, hepatitis B, yellow fever, malaria and cervical cancer among others.

“The reluctance in getting the respective vaccine has adverse effects on human population and health, thus society need a mind shift and be early adopters of such vaccines which are free in public health facilities and outreaches,” she insisted.

Currently, there is an ongoing national campaign for administration of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) to young girls between 10 to 14 years which is provided in two doses, six months apart for safety and are effective in preventing cervical cancer.

The Ministry has been calling on parents to avail the girls for vaccination and this is one campaign that needs to be amplified at community level.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), the number of children who were not vaccinated increased by 3.4 million in 2020 with 1.6 more girls not being fully vaccinated against the HPV, thus a call to all countries to design and align activities from community level.

 

These efforts aim at inspiring everyone to benefit from vaccines for good health and boosting one’s immunity.

By Jackline Kidaha

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