KENYA – The Ministry of Health has announced the replenishment of routine vaccines to protect children from preventable diseases, addressing recent concerns over vaccine shortages.

In a statement issued by the Principal Secretary of the State Department for Medical Services, Mr. Harry Kimtai, the ministry noted that with an allocation of KES1.25 billion (US$9.574 million ), it had procured significant quantities of Measles-Rubella, Oral Polio, Tetanus-Diphtheria, and BCG vaccines.

This procurement effectively mitigates the previously reported critically low levels of these essential vaccines.

Mr. Kimtai detailed the procurement, stating that the ministry had received 1,209,500 doses of Measles-Rubella vaccines, 3,032,000 doses of Oral Polio Vaccines (bOPV), 1,000,000 doses of Tetanus-Diphtheria vaccines, and 3,129,000 doses of BCG vaccines.

He also emphasized that these efforts are part of a broader strategy to ensure that children across the nation are protected from preventable diseases, which aligns with Kenya’s commitment to public health and the well-being of its younger population.

Efforts are underway to rapidly distribute these vaccines to nine regional vaccine stores nationwide.

To facilitate this distribution, the Ministry of Health has engaged additional refrigerated trucks to ensure that these lifesaving vaccines reach health facilities and communities promptly.

The ministry aims to ensure these lifesaving vaccines reach health facilities and communities by the second week of June 2024.

Mr. Kimtai urged healthcare workers to collaborate with community health teams to ensure that children who missed vaccinations catch up on their immunization schedules.

This collaborative effort is essential to maintaining high immunization coverage and preventing outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.

He highlighted the importance of a coordinated approach involving healthcare providers at all levels to achieve these goals.

The Ministry thanked Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, for its support over the years. As Kenya works towards full self-financing of its immunization programs by 2030, the Ministry is committed to a smooth transition.

To ensure stable vaccine supplies, the Ministry is exploring innovative financing options and engaging the National Treasury to allocate more resources to the immunization program.

These efforts aim to guarantee sustainable financing for immunization and universal access to vaccines, which are critical components of Kenya’s Primary Health Care strategy.

Additionally, the Ministry is focused on ring-fencing domestic resources to ensure that funding for immunization remains stable and predictable.

This strategy is essential to maintaining the momentum in the fight against preventable diseases and ensuring that no child is left unvaccinated due to financial constraints.

Mr. Kimtai concluded by appreciating the quick intervention of the State Department of Medical Services, the National Vaccines and Immunization Program, and UNICEF’s supplies division for their swift action in distributing the vaccines.

This collaborative effort underscores the commitment of various stakeholders to safeguard the health of Kenya’s children and ensure the success of the national immunization program.

For all the latest healthcare industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, and YouTube Channel, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, and like us on Facebook