Kenya targets 7.4m children in new polio vaccination drive

Tuesday August 22 2023

A child receives Polio Immunisation from a World Health Organization Kenya Disease Prevention and Control officer at the Kibera Vaccine Centre in Nairobi, Kenya on May 26, 2021. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG


Kenya's Ministry of Health on Tuesday launched the national polio vaccination drive targeting 7.4 million children under the age of five as part of efforts to safeguard the health and wellbeing of its young population.

Mary Muthoni, the Principal Secretary of the State Department for Public Health and Professional Standards, said the five-day campaign which begins Thursday will be rolled out in three distinct phases with the initial phase slated for August 24-28.

Muthoni said the vaccination drive follows the detection of six poliovirus cases among children in the Hagadera refugee camp in northeastern Kenya.

Read: Kenya on high alert after Malawi detects Polio case

"The launch of this extensive vaccination campaign marks a pivotal moment in Kenya's ongoing mission to secure the health and future of its youngest citizens," she told journalists in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

Muthoni said the second and third rounds which will target 2.8 million children each will be conducted between September and October.


She said the vaccination drive will prioritize vaccination efforts in three counties of Kiambu on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kajiado in southeast Kenya, and Garissa in the northeast region.

Muthoni reaffirmed Kenya's steadfast commitment to eradicating polio from its population.

The nation has maintained a polio-free status for an impressive decade, a testament to the nation's unwavering resolve.