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Kenya launches 100-day vaccination campaign

Kenya,Health/Medicine

Author : Indo Asian News Service

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Nairobi, Dec 15 (IANS) Kenya has launched a 100-day vaccination campaign targeting infants and adolescent girls amid vulnerability to measles and human papillomavirus that causes cervical cancer, respectively.

Patrick Amoth, acting Director General of Health in the Ministry of Health, said that the Periodic Intensification of Routine Immunisation (PIRI) activities is aimed at increasing coverage of childhood antigens, including second dose of measles rubella, Xinhua news agency reported.

"We also intend to vaccinate 70 per cent of girls aged 10-14 years with Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine," Amoth added during the launch of the exercise in Nairobi.

He noted that although the country had reached about 90 per cent of children's population with lifesaving vaccines, immunisation coverage has stagnated at 80 per cent with some of the vaccines like HPV and second dose of measles rubella vaccine falling behind at 30-50 per cent, respectively.

He said that every year, there are at least 300,000 infants who miss critical vaccines, adding that outbreaks of measles continue to occur in different parts of the country due to low immunity to the disease.

The Director General of Health noted that over the years immunisation had resulted in at least 70 per cent reduction in childhood illnesses and deaths from infectious diseases.

He urged parents to avail their children for vaccination, adding that the vaccines have been deployed in all health facilities in the country.

Amoth told parents to ensure that their children complete the immunisation schedule, including a second dose of measles rubella which is given out at 18 months.

The vaccination targets all children under 18-59 months who have not received the two doses of measles.

Kenya introduced HPV vaccine into the routine immunisation schedule in 2019 and aims to reach at least 700,000 girls per year with HPV vaccine for prevention of cervical cancer.

HPV can help curb the death of about 9 women in Kenya every day linked to cervical cancer.

Every year, Kenya targets to vaccinate at least 1.5 million children against vaccine preventable diseases such as measles, tuberculosis, diarrhea and pneumonia.

--IANS

int/khz/


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