The Government through the Ministry of Health is targeting to vaccinate 101,000 children aged between nine to 59 months in Busia County.
Speaking during the official launch of the exercise at Busia County Referral hospital, Busia Deputy Governor (DG) Moses Mulomi said that Busia is among the 22 counties earmarked for the important exercise.
“We are requesting the local residents to come out in large numbers and bring their children for vaccination because research revealed that we are in some of the areas that needed to repeat the vaccination exercise,” he said.
Mulomi stated that the exercise is scheduled to begin on Saturday and will last for ten days.
“We are targeting 101,000 children and we are asking all parents to bring their children for the jab,” he said adding that the services will be offered up to the villages.
He explained that failure to vaccinate children will expose them to dangers that might be incurable in future.
“Apart from common signs like rashes and severe diarrhea, there are also ear infections that can expose a child to more dangers,” he said, adding that child brain can also be affected.
The DG further explained that rubella can also cause bodily defects including heart problems, loss of hearing and loss of eyesight.
Busia Assistant County Commissioner Steven Kibandi expressed concern that only 88% of children were being vaccinated across the County, adding that there is need to look for the remaining 12%.
Kibandi noted that there are some religions that are against vaccinations, adding that Chiefs and their assistants will work closely with the healthcare providers to ensure that the exercise is a success.
“Do not leave out any child due to traditions or religious beliefs,” he said, adding that there is a need to know why 12% of children have not been vaccinated.
He reiterated that children aged between 9 and 59 months will be vaccinated even if they had received the jab before.
Busia County Director of Medical Services Janerose Ambuchi said that more than 200 children in the County suffered from measles- rubella.
Ambuchi added that only 88% of children across the County receive the first dose at 9 months, while another 60% going for the second jab at 18 months as required.
“This indicates that most of our children do not receive the second dose which guarantees full immunity,” she said, while urging parents to take advantage of the opportunity to protect their children.
Meanwhile, a team of officers from the Ministry of Health are on the ground to ensure the success of the exercise.
By Salome Alwanda