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Sense International welcomes Kenya vaccination campaign against measles and Rubella

23 May 2016

Sense International today welcomed the launch of the nationwide vaccination campaign against measles and Rubella that will target 19 million children aged between 9 months and 14 years. The charity was even more pleased to note the Government’s commitment following the campaign for the vaccine to be introduced into the national programme of immunisation in Kenya.

The Health Principle Secretary Dr. Nicholas Muraguri announced the new vaccination campaign, which will be conducted by the Ministry of Health in partnership with UNICEF and WHO. He stated that 42,000 health workers, 24,000 volunteers, and more than 20,000 vaccination points across the country were going to be arrayed. The campaign will be conducted from 16th – 24th May, and Dr Muraguri assured Kenyans that the vaccine is safe.

Rubella can only be prevented through vaccination and thus Sense International is encouraging the government of Kenya to work towards having rubella vaccine become part of the immunization program. Currently, Sense International is working with Mbagathi Hospital and three health centers namely: Riruta, Waithaka and Ngong Road, in Nairobi, to carry out sensory screening for children aged 0-3 years to identify positive cases of rubella. This information will help determine the prevalence of rubella, and those who are identified to be positive will be placed in an early intervention program where they will receive support including counseling, therapy and assistive devices to support their functioning.

Edwin Osundwa, Country Representative of Sense International Kenya, said: 

“We welcome today’s news and encourage all children that are eligible for the vaccination to take advantage of the campaign.  However, we know that the only way Kenya will ever eradicate this devastating disease is by introducing the rubella vaccine into the national immunization programme. We are pleased with the campaign being the first step in achieving this ultimate outcome and look forward to Government implementing their commitment to including the rubella vaccine routinely for all children.”

Sense International has worked with WHO, KEMRI and Ministry of Health to start the initiative of immunization against rubella. This was started in 2012.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

About Sense International:

Sense International is a global charity supporting children and adults with deafblindess in India Peru, Bangladesh, Romania, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya.

About Rubella:

Rubella is an infection that is caused by Rubella virus which can be transmitted from one person to another through droplets and fluids from the nose and throat, coughing or sneezing. The infection is especially dangerous to a mother in the first three months of her pregnancy. It can cause miscarriage, stillbirth or severe birth defects known as Congenital Rubella Syndrome, which include deafness, blindness and heart problems.

About deafblindness:

Deafblindness refers to a condition characterized by a person having both hearing and vision loss. People with Deafblindness vary widely in the degree and type of vision and hearing loss that they experience.

First published: Tuesday 18 June 2013
Last updated: Wednesday 11 October 2017