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Disease surveillance at the international borders intensified  

Turkana County Health and Veterinary Services officers are intensifying disease surveillance at the international borders.

Turkana County shares three international borders with Uganda, South Sudan, and Ethiopia, with the population along the borders being mostly nomadic pastoralists.

Senior County Health and Veterinary Officers conducted a review meeting on routine surveillance and immunisation for preventable diseases in cross-border facilities in Loima, Kibish, and Turkana West Sub-counties on Wednesday.

The meeting was supported by the International Rescue Committee Core Group Partners Project.

The county officers will be seeking to review performance on routine surveillance for polio and other preventable diseases, with priority on zoonotic diseases, immunisation coverage, and COVID-19 activities.

Chief Officer for Preventive and Promotive Health, Peter Lomurukai, urged the participants to document their experiences and lessons for upscaling to other sub-counties.

“There is a need to strengthen health systems at the borders with routine immunisation, screening at border points, and capacity building of officers as well as community health promoters (CHPs) and disease reporters (CDRs),” he said.

Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Benson Longor, highlighted the importance of strategic resource mobilisation for the One Health Unit, which seeks to bring on board stakeholders in human health and animal health to address issues affecting the community.

He challenged the participants to hold joint One Health meetings at the sub-county level.

On his part, Deputy Director for Public Health Daniel Esimit urged the participants to intensify surveillance activities, particularly along the borders.

He added that it was prudent to also address routine immunisation challenges such as cold chain management.

By Peter Gitonga

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