Outcry from Basuba parents as their children miss polio vaccine

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Lamu, KENYA: Parents from Basuba ward in Lamu East have cried foul after their children missed out of the recently concluded Polio immunization exercise.

This is not the first time that children from Basuba are missing out on the polio immunization having missed several others in the past few years.

Parents are urging the government to intervene and ensure their children receive the vaccine.

“We are so unfortunate.each time there is such a service,we always miss or are later considered as a last resort by those carrying out the exercise. Why can’t our kids get vaccinated on time like all other kids out there,” said Halima Athmani of Milimani village,Basuba.

Lamu County Director for Health Services David Mulewa has confirmed that less than 5 per cent of children in the entire county could not be reached during the five day polio vaccination campaign.

Basuba has for the past two years been considered insecure following constant Alshabaab raids in the area and as such,many health workers are unwilling to venture into the area.

The county health director said health workers had to seek the help of security officers in order to reach out to children in Mangai, Mararani and Kiangwe villages.

Mulewa said villages like Basuba and Milimani could not be reached due to the security challenges and logistics.

“Our nurses and clinical officers are not on strike. They have been of great help more especially during the polio vaccination campaign. We managed to vaccinate 96.5 per cent of our children in Lamu within the five days. Only Basuba and Milimani villages could not be covered due to challenges of transport and insecurity. We are however planning to ensure the children in those villages get the polio vaccination by early February,” said Mulewa.

According to the County Polio Vaccination Campaign report, a total of 24,675 out of the 25,440 children of five years and below were immunized against polio in Lamu this month.

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