State to require immunisation report for pre-school admissions

Jackson Kioko
Director of Medical Services Jackson Kioko. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Children may in future be required to produce full immunisation certificates before being admitted for pre-school education, the Health ministry has announced in fresh bid to fight infectious diseases.

Full immunisation is a package that includes one dose of BCG, a dose of measles and three doses each of Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV), pentavalent and pneumococcal vaccines administered on children below one year.

Director of Medical Services Jackson Kioko, on Monday said the strategy of working with Education ministry was aimed at improving immunisation coverage in the country.

“We are looking at this multi-sectoral approach that will enable us to look at a child holistically and once the policy is out we will work on ensuring that all children get certification before joining kindergarten,” he said.

Dr Kioko said that the Kindergarten would be an ideal point for certification since children are required to have completed the full immunisation by the age of two.

Kenya is targeting to reach 94 per cent immunisation coverage this year after recording a drop of 63 per cent last year.

Dr Kioko was speaking ahead of polio vaccination campaign in 11 counties starting Wednesday following detection of the type two virus in May.

The campaign targets 400,000 children under the age of five years.

The exercise will be undertaken concurrently with Somalia since traces of the virus detected in sewage samples collected in Eastleigh are believed to be from Somalia.

The ministry has warned that the virus, known as circulating vaccine-derived polio virus type 2, can cause paralysis in un-immunised people.

Kenya has been free of wild poliovirus since 2014.