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March

2017

Supplemental Immunization Activities (SIA)

Kenya has kicked off the second round of its 2017 immunization effort with a polio campaign this week, targeting 2.9 million children aged five years and under. The campaign is targeting 15 counties that are considered on higher risk and vulnerable and which are mainly situated in remote, hard-to-reach and border areas. The campaign also covers Nairobi County, the travel hub that brings the rest of the world into Kenya. Supplemental Immunization Activities (SIA) form an important part of the Ministry of Health’s strategy to prevent outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases targeted for eradication, elimination and control. Currently these diseases include polio and measles. Due to the low polio vaccination coverage rates found in some counties, there are many children left vulnerable to the disease even in Kenya. These children remain at risk and pose a risk to others.

The Kenya Paediatric Association wholly supports these supplemental immunization efforts and urges all members to play an advocacy role in promoting its acceptance by the general public. This includes to our own patients even when we are confident that they have received the required doses in the routine vaccination.

By Dr. Thomas Ngwiri | Download the paper

June

2016

We must all support the introduction of the Measles Rubella (MR) Vaccine

On behalf of the Kenya Paediatric Association’s Immunization Working Group About Measles and Rubella

Measles and rubella are viruses that occur only in humans. Measles virus is transmitted by cough droplets and by direct contact with infected person. It takes about 10–14 days from exposure to onset of body rash, and patients are infectious from about 4 days before appearance of the body rash until 4 days after. They often have a high fever, cough, flu-like illness and red eyes. The typical rash appears after another 3–4 days, starting from the head and spreads downwards to other parts of the body. It is more likely to occur in children under the age of 5 years, in those with poor nutrition (especially with vitamin A deficiency), and those with low immunity such as advanced HIV. It can lead to increased chances of developing ear infections, pneumonia, persistent diarrhoea leading to malnutrition, and encephalitis. Measles can be prevented easily by vaccination.

By Dr. Ombeva Malande | Download the paper