A total of 86,000 children between the age of nine months and five years in Baringo County are set to be vaccinated against Measles and Rubella diseases.
Deputy Governor, Jacob Chepkwony, who presided over launch of the vaccination drive, at Baringo County Referral Hospital, Kabarnet, said the County was among the twenty two counties marked as high risk zones.
He urged parents and guardians to take their children to the nearest health facility or designated vaccination points for the jab planned to take 10 days.
“Measles and Rubella are highly infectious and third most common cause of death in children and the only way to counter it is through vaccination,” Chepkwony said.
Chepkwony expressed concern that immunization rate in the County has dropped drastically in the past one year and now stands at 50 percent, a situation, he noted has put the County at risk of a Measles and Rubella outbreak.
The high number of reported incidences of the two infectious diseases has necessitated immunization exercise in the identified counties by Ministry of Health with support of partner agencies such as World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), to mobilize resources, health workers and volunteers to offer the Measles and Rubella vaccine.
“We will offer the vaccine in public places that include markets, churches, mosques, schools among other social places backed by mobile teams, going to make sure all targeted children are reached by July 5, when the drive is set to end,” said Deputy Governor.
County Director-In-Charge of Preventive and Promotive Health Services, Dr Patrick Baruett, assured parents that the vaccine is safe hence they should not fear to take their children for the vaccination.
“The vaccine is safe and qualified staff will be administering the jab, so nobody should fear at all,” Baruett restated.
Kapropita Member of County Assembly (MCA), Jennifer Kiptoo, who attended the launch, encouraged parents across the seven Sub-counties to take the vaccination exercise seriously and avail their children for the jab to boost their immunity.
By Caroline Cherono and Betty Malakwen