NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Three health ministers from East African countries will on
Friday launch a joint polio vaccination campaign for the Horn of
Africa, Kenya’s health ministry said on Thursday.
The ministers from
Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia will launch the first round of the
campaigns in Kenyan border town of Garissa from Sept.15-19 and
subsequent round in October, targeting about 827,000 children
below five years of age.
Kenyan Cabinet Secretary in the ministry of health, said the two
planned rounds in Kenya will target 12 high risk counties.
She said the Global
Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) recommended two rounds of
synchronized polio vaccination campaigns to be conducted in
Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia due to recent isolation of more
circulating vaccine-derived polio viruses in Somalia, and
particularly in areas close to Kenya-Somalia-Ethiopia border.
Kariuki said Somalia
and Ethiopia will also be conducting their campaigns within the
same period and assured the public that the polio vaccines are
the usual vaccines used for routine vaccination in the health
“The vaccines have
undergone rigorous safety procedures during the manufacturing
processes. In addition, the ministry together with the Kenya
Conference of Catholic Bishops medical personnel and vaccine
testing expert committee have undertaken further testing of the
vaccines at National Quality Control Laboratory in Nairobi and
the test confirmed the safety of the vaccines,” Kariuki said.
She said her
ministry will implement preventive health interventions and
response measures as guided by national policies and in line
with international requirements as provided for in International
Health Regulations 2005.