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Gov’t intensifies covid-19 vaccination in prisons

The Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Winnie Guchu has embarked on a nationwide monitoring exercise of Covid-19 vaccination in prisons.

Speaking in Hola GK Prison, Guchu said the nationwide monitoring exercise which started this week, will go on until Friday so as to ensure 100 per cent vaccination targeting inmates, staff and their families.

The Ministry of Interior Chief Administrative Secretary Winnie Guchu washing her hands at the Hola Prison. Photo by Sadik Hassan

The CAS added that, the government will also be checking if the prisons have a conducive environment, social distancing and if there is a free flow of air in order to minimize the risk of inmates and staff being exposed to Covid-19 infection.

The nationwide vaccination drive for inmates, staff and their families was launched two weeks ago at Naivasha Maximum Prison by Cabinet Secretaries Dr. Fred Matiang’i and Mutahi Kagwe.

The vaccination drive aims at enabling visitation for inmates that was suspended last year, when the coronavirus pandemic broke-out.  

“The reason we want to do 100 per cent vaccination is that the inmates can be able to be visited. Since Covid broke-out, they have not had visitors, this has some psychological effects on them,’’ said Guchu.

She added that they want to open up, knowing that the inmates are safe as they will be interacting with their families’ members and they are not going to contract Covid-19.

She encouraged staff on leave to be vaccinated wherever they are. She revealed that all staff at Hola Prison have received Covid -19 jab.

The CAS, accompanied by the Commissioner General Prison Services Wycliffe Ogallo and Tana River County Commissioner Mbogai Rioba have so far visited Garissa and Hola prisons.

They are scheduled to visit Hindi and Malindi Prisons in Lamu and Kilifi counties respectively.

By Sadik Hassan

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