Lamu’s health department raises concern over influx of sick children from Somalia


Lamu, KENYA: The health department in Lamu county has expressed concern over the increased number of sick children being brought in from neighboring Somalia to Lamu and whose health status is unknown.

Lamu county director for health David Mulewa said there was an influx of children from Somalia to areas close to the border among them Kiunga and Ishakani,whose immunization record or status is unknown.

Speaking in his office on Tuesday,Mulewa said there was concern that the influx could lead to an outbreak of infectious illnesses among children in the affected areas if the situation isn’t contained.

The county health director said due to the situation,the county had launched a monthly immunization programme for various illnesses for children in Kiunga and Ishakani.

Mulewa said the move is to ensure all children in the affected areas receive the necessary and adequate immunity; even as they come into contact with their counterparts from Somalia.

He said the county in collaboration with the US marine unit,the KDF and the Safari Doctors have been offering various health services to children in challenged areas among Kiunga,Ishakani and Basuba.

Mulewa said,in February the county will also launch a massive campaign that will see all children from Kiunga division immunized against infectious illnesses.

“We are doing all this in order to protect the affected children from any illnesses that might have crossed the border from Somalia; as long as we don’t know the immunization history of children coming from Somalia,we are better off immunizing our own just to be safe,”said Mulewa.