February 18, 2019

Challenges faced in the current Measles-Rubella jab exercise in Kenya

A church in Migori County on Monday barred Medical personnel from giving the ongoing Measles-Rubella jab to their children. A section of children at Opapo primary school belonging to the Haleluhya church did not receive the important vaccination and the school head was adamant to comment on the issue.
‘‘I am between a rock and a hard place because this is a government exercise and this is a public school. But these pupils are under my care and I am aware that their church does not allow them get the injection,’’ said the school head, Mr. Dickson Osore.
According to the Standard, the leader of the church ‘Baba’ reiterated that he was not informed prior the jab exercise in the school.
‘‘Those children are under my care since they live inside the church compound. I was not informed of the ongoing vaccination exercise. Our church doctrines do not encourage scientific medicine since they are prayed for and prayers guard them against diseases.
A similar incident happened last Friday in Embu County after a number of Catholic sponsored schools disallowed medical officers from vaccinating their pupils. County Executive Committee Member, Health Pauline Njagi indicated that the Priest heading the schools was reluctant on whether they will allow the jab exercise to take place.

The Ministry of Health before the exercise had assured that the Measles-Rubella immunization is perfectly safe since all officers received the necessary training and were up and ready for the job. According to the Health Principal Secretary Mr. Nicholas Muraguri, the jab exercise will seek to ensure maternal child survival as well as improve the immunization coverage from the current 80 percent to 95 percent in Kenya.
‘‘This 2016 campaign serves as a catch up campaign to capture children unimmunized from measles disease either due to reasons of vaccine efficiency levels or due lack of being routinely vaccinated,’’ said Mr. Muraguri.
The Kenya government set aside Sh2.1 billion for the immunization targeting 19 million children between 9 months and 14 years of age. A total of 42, 000 thousand health workers as well as some 24, 000 volunteers will be involved in the vaccination at 20, 000 centers.
Measles is a highly contagious infection caused by the measles virus whose symptoms include fever, cough, inflamed eyes and a running nose.

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