Nairobi, KENYA: The Measles, Rubella and Tetanus vaccination campaign exercise by the government has heightened across the country, with children aged between 9 months and 14 years getting immunized against the life threatening diseases.
The exercise that is also in partnership with UNICEF and WHO, kicked off on Monday and is expected to end on 24th May;targeting more than 20 Million children countrywide.
The health ministry has urged parents to take advantage of the campaign and get their children and pregnant mothers immunized.
Unlike with the polio vaccine, which is done on door to door, the measles-rubella vaccine will only be administered in public health facilities as well as identified churches and schools in the country;since they need to be stored under certain conditions.
Health Cabinet Permanent Secretary Nicolas Muraguri termed the campaign as the biggest in history, targeting children who had not been immunized.
“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 Muraguri.
He added that they are targeting 800,000 pregnant mothers between the age of 19 and 40 across the country.
The exercise has however faced a backlash from the Catholic Church which has raised concerns over its safety, a view they have held over the years.
The government is planning to make the Rubella and Measles vaccination a compulsory for women and children starting in 2017.