Measles Mop-Up Campaign
Mandera County hosted a measles campaign which was aimed at containing the disease outbreak caused by low vaccination coverage rates. The campaign strives to protect children from vaccine preventable diseases that have been rampant in the arid and semi-arid areas.
The exercise which commenced on 27th October 2018 targeted all the six sub counties in Mandera County to ensure all 205, 268 children are vaccinated with measles and Rubella vaccine. This followed the flash floods caused by the March-April-May long rains that severely affected health facilities, therefore, limiting access to essential services to the affected communities.
“Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI), both in health facilities and through outreach services remains weak and requires substantial support to reduce mortality and morbidity, especially from to the main childhood killer diseases such as pneumonia, malaria and diarrhea,” said Sylvia Khamati, Head of Health, Nutrition and Social Services, KRCS.
The campaign heavily relies on social mobilization conducted through religious leaders, Community health volunteers, Red Cross volunteers who inform the parents/caregivers on the vaccination campaign and designated vaccination sites.
Measles is a deadly and highly infectious virus and is one of the leading causes of vaccine-preventable deaths in the world. Mandera County has reported cumulatively a total of 316 cases and warranted a response to ensure all the children are protected from the measles virus.
At national level, Kenya has reported sporadic measles outbreak since the beginning of the year with Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Nairobi, Kitui and Muranga counties being affected. Mandera county has severely been affected having reported more than 50% of the total cumulative cases since the outbreak. The campaign targeted to vaccinate all children aged 6-59 months in the county to ensure that they are protected from the measles disease.
‘The campaign has been part of the core focus areas for communicable disease prevention and ensure every children is reached and protected from vaccine preventable diseases. It hopes to build the resilience of health systems by addressing existing gaps,” added Khamati.
The campaign is supported by UNICEF, American Red Cross and World Health Organization while implementation is in close collaboration with the county government of Mandera and the national ministry of health.