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HIV

Kutomaliza Chanjo Ni Kukatiza Ndoto

By Nancy Njoki and Salome Onyando-Odhiambo, Maternal and Child Health Dept.

According to the National Policy and guidelines on Immunization, many children are dying or becoming disabled by diseases that can be prevented by immunization.  Immunization of children against vaccine preventable diseases is one of the most cost effective public health interventions available and is crucial to reduce infant and child mortality.

The leading causes of morbidity and mortality in children in Kenya is from infectious and immunizable diseases. Facilitating universal access to safe vaccines of proven efficacy is a human right for every child in Kenya enabling them to have the opportunity to live a healthier and fuller life.

Although there is a marked decline in child mortality from 74 deaths to 52 deaths per 1000 (KDHS 2008 & 2014) National immunization levels have decreased from 77% to 71%. Evidence based research tells us that:

  • Most people are aware of Polio vaccine across all regions and categories as compared to other vaccines like yellow fever.
  • Garissa had the least level of knowledge of immunization of children under 2 years; this could be attributed to the higher illiteracy levels among the respondents from the region.
  • Most respondents that know a vaccine, can identify the disease that the vaccine helps prevent. Therefore, the fundamental task is creating awareness on the vaccines.
  • Knowledge levels on Polio are high and this could be largely driven by the recent polio vaccine initiatives led by the government.
  • All the respondents agreed that immunization was important to their children.
  • However, a small percentage (1%) in Kakamega and rural setting said that immunization was not important to their children.

 

Population Services Kenya (PS Kenya) with support from USAID, in partnership with the Unit of Vaccines and Immunization Services (UVIS) under Ministry of Health has developed an evidence based immunization campaign aimed at increasing uptake of immunization services through increasing number of caregivers who:

  • Know of the  recommended no. of vaccines for Children under age 2
  • Know when to go to HFs to complete the immunization schedule
  • Can recall at least 4 immunizations and the diseases they prevent.

 

It is against this background that the immunization campaign dubbed ‘Kutomaliza chanjo ni kukatiza ndoto’ (Not completing the immunization schedule can end your dreams for your child) commenced. The campaign is based on the concept of aspirations and dreams caregivers have for their children and using this as an emotional hook for increasing immunization uptake. The campaign is targeting 10 counties: Kakamega, Kericho, Bomet, Baringo, Migori, Nairobi, Garissa, Mandera, Wajir and West Pokot which, according to immunization routine data, has the lowest uptake of immunization services among children under the age of 2 years. Through an IPC component under the Community Health Strategy, a pilot project is ongoing in Kipkelion West Sub County of Kericho County where 200 Trained Community Health Volunteers will be visiting 10,000 households mapped to 12 health facilities encouraging caregivers to take advantage of immunization services offered at the health facilities in the sub-county.

 

The campaign is currently reaching caregivers through radio; Kass FM, Mulembe FM, Star FM and Classic 105 using recorded radio spots and presenter driven activations. To support the radio, out of Home advertising is also being used including bus branding, wall branding in Health facilities and directional signages in Kericho County.

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