In response to the ongoing cholera outbreak that has affected the nation since October 2022, the Ministry of Health has taken decisive action by initiating a comprehensive Oral Cholera Vaccination (OCV) campaign.
During a media and stakeholders meeting held today in Nairobi, Ms. Mary Muriuki, the Principal Secretary for Public Health and Professional Standards, emphasized the urgency of intervention as the cholera situation continues to escalate.
As of 18th July 2023, the country has reported a staggering 11,181 cholera cases and 196 fatalities in 26 counties. The Case Fatality Rate (CFR) stands at 1.7%, underscoring the gravity of the situation and the critical need for prompt action.
The successful first round of vaccination conducted in February 2023 saw 2.2 million people above the age of 1 vaccinated in Nairobi, Garissa, Tana River, and Wajir, resulting in a significant reduction in cholera cases in those areas.
Building on this progress, the International Coordinating Group (ICG) has provided the Ministry of Health with 1,533,199 doses of the Oral Cholera Vaccine for the upcoming campaign.
Set to commence on 3rd August 2023, the vaccination drive will focus on the eight most-affected counties, including Homa Bay (Suba South), Kajiado (Kajiado East), Marsabit (Moyale), Nairobi (Kamukunji and Embakasi Central), Wajir (Wajir North), Mandera (Mandera East), Machakos, and Garissa.
Ms. Muriuki emphasized the importance of additional preventive and promotive interventions to complement vaccination efforts.
The Ministry of Health has strengthened coordination activities, water, sanitation, and hygiene efforts, risk communication networks, community engagement, patient case management, and laboratory confirmation of cases in collaboration with county governments, line ministries, and partners.
The Principal Secretary represented by Dr. Sultani Matendechero called upon all citizens to actively participate in the fight against cholera by adhering to essential public health measures and supporting the vaccination campaign. She also highlighted the crucial role of the media in raising awareness and educating the public about cholera prevention.
The Ministry of Health’s announcement signifies a significant step forward in the battle against cholera, with hopes of curbing the outbreak and creating a safer and healthier future for all Kenyans.