The Kilifi County Government and the National Government Administration have embarked on a village-to-village Covid-19 vaccination campaign in Malindi Sub County.
The teams will also visit secondary schools and places of worship as well as markets, wedding and funeral venues to sensitize the public on the importance of vaccination against the deadly virus and vaccinate those willing to have the jabs.
Malindi Deputy County Commissioner Thuo wa Ngugi and Sub County Medical Officer of Health Emily Karisa said the sub county had been placed on a 10-day Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) to vaccinate 12,634 residents.
They met chiefs and their assistants at the Sub County Headquarters in Malindi town Tuesday and gave each of the junior administrators a target to meet within the stipulated period with a view to boosting the numbers of those vaccinated.
Ms Karisa said the county had vaccinated about 26,000 residents, representing 23 per cent of the targeted 115,000 people. She noted that 462 people had been fully vaccinated against the virus with the rest still waiting for the second dose.
The Department of health has formed 13 teams that will work with chiefs, assistant chiefs, village elders and Nyumba kumi ambassadors to comb the entire sub county to create awareness as well as administer vaccinations to the converted, said Mr. Ngugi.
He called on residents to be vaccinated, saying the government means well for its citizens. He told them to ignore rumours and propaganda surrounding the vaccines and come out in large numbers to be vaccinated.
“The vaccination exercise is being done for the good of the citizens of Kenya because the country cannot develop when its citizens are sick,” he told journalists after the meeting.
He warned that very soon, those who will not have been vaccinated will be denied services in government institutions adding, “We will use all methods that will make Kenyans accept to be vaccinated.”
Ms Karisa said her department had already received consent from the Sub County Director of Education to visit secondary schools to speak to teachers and students and administer the jabs.
“We shall also visit churches on Sundays and mosques on Fridays. We shall also reach markets and all places that have events such as funerals and weddings so that we reach our people in every village,” she said.
She said her department had initiated community dialogues to educate wananchi on the importance of vaccination and expressed joy that the engagement had started yielding fruit.
By Emmanuel Masha