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Narok County surpasses its vaccination target against measles  

Narok County has already surpassed its target in the on-going national immunisation campaign against measles and Rubella by vaccinating 172, 082 children at the end of the eighth day of the exercise on Saturday.

The county had targeted to vaccinate 171,498 by the end of the exercise on Monday, July 5.

Talking to KNA, Narok County Public Health Officer Edward Oludaru Tankoi said three Sub-counties of Trans Mara East, Narok South and Narok West have already recorded a success of 113 per cent, 101 and 110 per cent coverage respectively.

He attributed this to teamwork, dedication of the teams and vigorous campaign mounted to sensitise the public about the exercise which targets population of the children aged between 9 to 59 months.

He was optimistic that the three counties of Narok North, Trans Mara East and Narok East which has the lowest coverage of 92 per cent will be able to reach their target by Monday, July 5 when the exercise ends.

The national Measles and Rubella immunisation campaign for 22 selected counties kicked off on Saturday, June 26.

Narok County was one of the 22 high risk counties identified in the country, where the campaign will be carried out. The campaign in the 22 high-risk counties is meant to reduce the increasing number of unvaccinated children and protect them from the two diseases which are major killers among children.

The 10-day vaccination campaign targets 3.5million children across the country with low immunisation coverage.

World Health Organisation (WHO) carried out a study which identified 22 counties as being at very high risk for measles outbreaks.

They include: Kilifi, Tana River, Trans Nzoia, Elgeyo Marakwet, Busia, Homa Bay, Migori, Bungoma, Kisii, Kajiado, Nairobi, Narok, Vihiga, Mandera, Wajir, Kakamega, Garissa, Baringo, West Pokot, Turkana, Bomet and Wajir.

Measles is a common cause of deaths among children from vaccine-preventable diseases, while rubella which is a viral, highly infectious like measles can cause serious health complications to newborns such as birth defects, heart problems, loss of hearing and eyesight, and brain damage.

The rubella component is administered free of charge through 5,061 vaccination posts that will be set up in public places including markets, schools, churches, mosques and other social places and mobile vaccination teams in addition to all public health facilities within the 22 counties.

Tankoi urged the residents of Narok to take advantage of this opportunity to present their children for the immunisation.

By Mabel Keya-Shikuku

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