That donors have increased financing for Kenya’s vaccination programmes is a good thing especially now that the coronavirus pandemic has shifted focus away from diseases such as influenza, pneumonia, polio, rotavirus and yellow fever.
These diseases remain top killers among children and the Sh1.15 billion additional cash from Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi) will increase immunisation coverage and save lives.
But for Kenya to achieve the 100 percent immunisation coverage, the government must chip in and set aside adequate cash to buy the vaccines and also educate the public on the need to adhere to the schedules despite the fears of contracting coronavirus in clinics and home visits.
Already, some poor countries have started detecting polio in areas previously declared free of the life-threatening disease after immunisation programmes were paused due to Covid-19 lockdown and curfew measures.
As a country, we had made progress but the number of vaccinated children in some counties has dropped to a 15-year low due to stockouts of the vaccines, meaning that those in remote rural areas and urban slums are dying from preventable diseases.
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