Kenya to roll out vaccines after 194 die of cholera

Kenya is battling a cholera outbreak that has claimed 194 lives in less than a year prompting the government to roll out emergency vaccination across eight counties.

After prolonged drought, continuing rains are spreading waterborne diseases such as cholera with the country expecting torrential el nino rains later this year that is bound to aggravate the health concerns.

The Ministry of Health has announced an Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV) programme that will commence on Thursday to Saturday 12th August following a reported 11,872 cases and 194 deaths with some active cases from October last year to July 2023.

The program targets people over the age of one in eight counties with the inclusion of Machakos County prison and Special school as well as the Dadaab refugee camp.

“The affected counties include Nairobi, Kiambu, Garissa, Kajiado among others with active outbreaks persisting in Nairobi and Mandera counties,” said the MOH.

Read also: WHO raises alarm over polio outbreak in Kenya

Cholera outbreak

Last year, the World Health Organisation raised concerns in Kenya’s arid north stating that the cholera outbreak was triggered by the impact of a prolonged and severe drought.

Kenyan health authorities launched the country’s first-ever cholera vaccination drive in February to bolster outbreak control efforts and end the disease.

The 10-day campaign, rolled out with support from World Health Organization (WHO), targeted 2.2 million people in four worst-affected counties.

The world health body also disbursed US$6 million to kick-start emergency cholera responses in Kenya, Malawi and Mozambique.

A multi sectoral national cholera coordination committee have been activated which will focus on coordination, case management, infection prevention and control, surveillance and laboratory as well as Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), risk communication and the Oral Cholera vaccine, the Ministry says.

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