Hundreds of children in Lamu miss out on nationwide polio vaccination again

Hundreds of children in Lamu miss out on nationwide polio vaccination again

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Health workers administering a polio vaccine to a baby. PHOTO: COURTESY

Lamu, KENYA: More than 500 children from Basuba ward in Lamu East have missed out on the just concluded nationwide Polio vaccination exercise that concluded on Wednesday last week.

Children under five years from Milimani,Basuba,Mangai,Mararani and Kiangwe villages also missed out on the first phase of the vaccination.

Reports confirm that Ministry of Health officers who were carrying out the door to door vaccination exercise skipped the terror prone Basuba due to insecurity fears caused by frequent Alshabaab attacks.

Speaking on phone on Sunday,Lamu County Health Executive Mohamed Kombo confirmed that children from Basuba had missed the vaccine.

Kombo said the security situation in Basuba was not yet reliable.

Kombo however blamed the county security office for failing to cooperate with his office in ensuring the Basuba children get the vaccine.

“It’s true that Children in Basuba have missed out of the Polio Vaccination majorly due to insecurity. We have tried liasing with the county administration to accord our officers security to Basuba but they bluntly refused. ” Said Kombo.

Commenting on the same ,Lamu County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri denied that his office had refused to cooperate with the county health office to issue to vaccine to children in terror prone Basuba.

Kanyiri said his office had not received any such information and as such, he couldn’t have organized for the security of the health officers.

He said they were ready to accord any necessary help that will see young children from Basuba receive the Polio Vaccine like their counterparts in the rest of the country.

“We haven’t refused to give them security.Its them who haven’t informed us that they needed it.Let them come to my office and we shall be sure to accord them the necessary help,”said Kanyiri.

Locals however feel there is need for the government to come with measures that will see children from terror prone areas in Basuba evacuated to safer zones for them to receive similar and other vaccinations in future.

Children from Basuba also missed out on phase one of the exercise that was completed in August last year for similar reasons.

READ ALSO: Several children miss Polio jab in Lamu

Kenyans were urged to ensure children under five get the vaccine with the Ministry of Health stressing the need for parents to take children who miss out to the nearest health facilities at no charge.

The exercise targeted nine million children in all the 47 counties.