By Amos Mburu
The ministry of health has assured parents that recent multiple polio vaccinations in 12 Counties have no effects as it meant to increase body immunity to children under 5 years.
Polio is a contagious viral illness that in its most severe form causes nerve injury leading to paralysis, difficulty breathing and sometimes death and it’s mostly transmitted through contaminated water or food, or contact with an infected person.
The ministry states that the quick succession of polio vaccination was meant to seal loopholes that were left out in the previous exercise. The campaign was initiated after the discovery of live polio samples in Nairobi’s Eastleigh area in March 2018.
Among the Counties that the exercise was conducted included Kiambu, Kajiado, Kitui, Isiolo, Meru, Machakos, Wajir, Busia, Mandera, Tana River, Lamu and Nairobi counties.
According to Raphael Muli, County Disease Surveillance Coordinator Kenya, about 2.8million children under the age of 5 years were targeted for immunization.
The exercise was sponsored by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Mr. Muli said that there is no harm if a child receives more dose of polio as it will help to improve the immunity.
He said that the ministry in partnership with other stakeholders have managed to cover about 85 percent of the targeted counties noting the exercise will continue at health facilities across the Country even after the campaign.
“When you receive a vaccine for the first time, it is not absolute that you will get immunity or protection against the respective disease targeted,” he said adding that parents should champion for the penetration of polio immunization even to the areas that health officials are facing resistance from locals.
Earlier Ministry of Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), Dr Rashid Aman had said that polio diseases know no borders and countries such as Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, and Djibouti, are also at risk of polio outbreaks due to the frequent movement of large groups of people in the region and the porous borders across the countries.