At least one million children below five years in Nairobi are targeted in the national polio vaccination campaign that kicked off on Saturday.
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko launched the polio vaccination campaign in the capital city and urged parents and guardians to ensure their children are immunized.
The Governor also called on stakeholders in the health sector to ensure all children targeted in this year’s vaccination exercise are reached.
Sonko encouraged Nairobi residents to take advantage of the free immunization offered in all the 103 public health facilities.
“Children under five years are particularly vulnerable to diseases because their immunity is yet to fully develop,” said Sonko.
The door-to-door campaign will see the children reached at their households, while mobile teams will also visit churches, mosques, temples and other religious centres in the capital.
Other places targeted include malls, bus stations, recreation and shopping centres.
Governor Sonko assured residents the vaccine is safe.
“The Polio vaccine we are administering in this campaign has been tested by the National Quality Control Laboratory and found to be safe,” he said.
Nairobi County Health Executive member Mohamed Dagane said that the county will this year have more teams conducting the exercise.
“We have put everything in place to ensure that the exercise is safely conducted within the stipulated period,” Dagane said.
The county will deploy over 1,500 vaccination teams of health care workers and Community Health Volunteers to ensure a successful campaign.
Last year, the campaign targeted 800,000 children in the city with around 600,000 children successfully being vaccinated.
Other counties where the exercise will be conducted include Garisa, Lamu, Wajir, Turkana, Kilifi, Mombasa and Marsabit.
Globally, polio cases have reduced significantly by over 99% since 1988 with reports of outbreaks in Pakistan and Afghanistan.