The Ministry of Health through the health stakeholders in Nandi County has launched a program to sensitize people on the importance of routine vaccination that is set to run for 100 days.
This is a nationwide exercise that will be conducted in the 47 counties targeting children under the age of five years, adolescent girls (10-14 years) and expectant women.
Speaking during a meeting held at a hotel in Kapsabet, County Immunization Coordinator, Rachael Rop, noted that there has been a low uptake on routine vaccines as per the 2020 Routine Immunization Coverage both at County level as well as countrywide, prompting the Ministry of Health to come up with 100 days’ sensitization exercise to educate the community on the need to take the vaccines.
Routine vaccines include Measles Rubella Vaccine, Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (HPV), Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) among others.
Rop added that the decline in the uptake of routine vaccines is as a result of rumors and propaganda being spread especially in the social media concerning side effects of such vaccines.
“We are experiencing a low uptake on vaccines in our country as per the 2020 Routine Immunization Coverage. This means that we are at risk. It is time we make Kenyans understand why immunization is key to good health. Prevention is better than cure,” pointed out Rop.
She further said that all vaccines ranging from routine vaccines to the recent Covid 19 vaccines have been tested and approved to be safe for human immunization by the World Health Organisation (WHO) therefore people should ignore baseless propaganda and understand the need to take care of their health.
The coordinator said during the 100 days of sensitization period, the health department will engage local leaders, administrators as well as the media to be on the lead in supporting immunization so as to be able to reach a target of at least 95 percent in each vaccine administered both in County and Country level.
Nandi County Maendeleo ya Wanawake Chairperson, Sara Kosgei, who was present at the meeting, said there is need to accelerate routine immunization so as to save children and ensure healthy living.
Kosgei on the same note said that during the sensitization, they will ensure those who have not received the Covid-19 vaccine are convinced to take it confirming that those who have been vaccinated have proved to be safe compared to those who had not.
She also urged the media being stakeholders to ensure they generate and solidify support for immunization among caregivers, children, community and even leaders.
“To save our society, we need to accelerate immunization among children, adolescent girls, pregnant women and all adults when it comes to the Covid-19 vaccines. We need to make people know that they should prevent, protect and immunize themselves and their children to guarantee good health,” said Kosgei.
During the sensitization, the health stakeholders will identify and address concerns of groups that may have been overlooked during the routine immunization activities to ensure they get vaccinated.
By Ruth Mainye