West Pokot County managed to vaccinate over 97% of the residents in the nine-day meningitis mass vaccination campaign targeting people up to 29 years old.
Speaking to the press Tuesday at his office in Kapenguria, Chief Officer for Health Peter Adoki said the health workers managed to achieve the target during the campaign.
“West Pokot Sub County recorded 103%, 104% Pokot South, 92% Central Pokot, while for Pokot North 93% was recorded,” he said.
He cited insecurity in Pokot Central and migration of the people to Uganda in search of pasture and water in Pokot North as some of the challenges that affected the exercise.
“Cases of insecurity were reported in Pokot Central while majority of the farmers in Pokot North had not returned back but we managed to send some of the health workers to the border to ensure that targeted people receive the vaccine”, said Adoki.
“Cases of cattle rustling that have re-emerged along the border also hindered us in achieving our target in the region. Many people have been displaced and others migrated to safe places,” he said.
Adoki said the exercise was done in collaboration with the national government, saying the exercise is still going on in all public health facilities and asked those who missed during the campaign period to get vaccinated at their nearest health facility.
The officer stressed the need for the people to be vaccinated, noting that during 2016 many cases were reported in the region and given that the county is an international border.
The mass immunisation aimed at vaccinating more than 300,00 children and adults aged between one to 29 years, who are at higher risk of contracting the disease.
The vaccine which was administered through injections was free in all public health facilities and in selected immunisation centres like schools, churches, colleges, mosques and other identified sites in the county.
Meningitis is caused by bacteria and can cause severe brain damage and put the life of a person at risk.
Mengitis is a bacterial infection of membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord, which is transmitted from person to person through droplets of respiratory or throat secretions of an infected person.
The symptoms of the disease include headache, stiff neck, high fever, sensitivity to light, confusion and vomiting
At a severe stage, the infection may lead to severe disabilities such as paralysis, blindness and hearing loss.
By John Saina