Kick out polio
The second phase of vaccination against polio in Kenya is set to start on Saturday, July 17.

A total of 3.4 million children under the age of five years will be vaccinated against polio starting Saturday.

The vaccination, which will be in its second phase, will be rolled out in 13 counties where children are at risk of contracting the disease.

The campaign, which will run from July 17 to 21, will be rolled out in Garissa, Isiolo, Kajiado, Kiambu, Kilifi, Kitui, Lamu, Machakos, Mandera, Mombasa, Nairobi, Tana River and Wajir counties.

Polio is a highly infectious, debilitating disease which affects children and causes permanent paralysis. It is not curable, and the only prevention is by vaccination.

The Ministry of Health has said the exercise will be conducted through house-to-house visits by vaccination teams, in an exercise that will be conducted in strict conformity with COVID-19 health protocols.

“To ensure full protection of children and protect the transmission of the Polio virus, we need to ensure all children are vaccinated every time there is a vaccination campaign. Vaccinating all children will protect them and prevent the virus from circulating in the community.”

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Speaking during the launch of the first phase of the vaccination exercise, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said that the disease “not only causes paralysis and permanent disability, but it can also kill as it affects the muscles that aid in breathing.

The CS noted that during the 2013 polio outbreak in Garissa County, 14 people were paralyzed by the disease, while two died following complications arising from the disease.

The exercise will be conducted through house-to-house visits by vaccination teams, in an exercise that will be conducted in strict conformity with COVID-19 health protocols.

Kenya has been free of any wild poliovirus circulation since 2014 however, the country continues to be at higher risk of polio due to low immunization coverage due to mobility of populations.

About 2.6 million children were vaccinated against polio in the first phase of the campaign, a drive conducted between May 22 and 26.

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