The World Health Organisation has warned that thousands of Kenyan children are vulnerable to deadly diseases including polio and measles.
This comes despite immunisation services starting to resume after Covid interruptions. Mass campaigns are yet to resume after postponements since late 2019.
“If we’re to avoid multiple outbreaks of life-threatening diseases like measles, yellow fever and diphtheria, we must ensure routine vaccination services are protected in every country in the world,” WHO’s Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.
Data from the United Nation’s children agency shows that the usage of outpatient services for children below five years dropped by about 50 per cent in Kenya between March and June 2020.
Similarly Unicef said that consumption of the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis jabs dropped by nine per cent, antenatal care appointments by 10 per cent, and skilled birth deliveries by four per cent.
The country’s health ministry says seasonal immunisation has recovered from the slump caused by restrictions to counter Covid-19.
“It is very important to have vaccines during a pandemic, simply because there are other diseases that are still going on amidst the Covid-19 pandemic,” the Ministry of Health’s National Vaccine and Immunisation Programme official Dr Fathiya Hamumy said.