NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s health ministry will intensify
surveillance along porous borders, invest in diagnostic kit and
promote public awareness to prevent an outbreak of polio, an
official said Wednesday.
Director of Medical Services in the Ministry of Health, said the
government and bilateral partners have earmarked resources to
strengthen response to a polio outbreak amid threat from
“We are on high
alert to prevent a polio outbreak given our high levels of
vulnerability to the debilitating ailment. Our goal is to
achieve complete polio eradication by the end of this year as
envisioned in 2013-2018 end game strategy,” said Kioko.
He spoke in Nairobi
during a meeting of health experts from the Horn of Africa
region to discuss new strategies to hasten attainment of
from the region and representatives of multilateral agencies
agreed that a resurgence of polio was possible in the absence of
strong deterrent measures.
Kioko revealed that
Kenya was closely monitoring neighboring Somalia and a densely
populated Nairobi suburb where strains of polio virus were
discovered earlier this year.
“The discovery of
polio virus type 2 in four environmental samples in Banadir,
Somalia and recently in Nairobi’s Eastleigh suburb is a major
setback in the fight against this disease,” Kioko said.
He revealed that
Kenya will later this month carry out immunization against polio
in the high-risk counties that neighbor Somalia and South Sudan.
He urged Horn of
African countries to share best practices on hygiene, early
warning, immunization and case management in order to strengthen
the war against polio.
Kenya is among
sub-Saharan African countries that have made significant
progress towards polio eradication though the threat of an
outbreak remains huge due to influx of refugees from strife-torn
neighboring countries where the disease is endemic.