Trans Nzoia residents have been urged to take advantage of the government’s immunization program against various diseases, which has numerous benefits for the community.
The call was made during the launch of World Immunization Week with this year’s theme being “The Big Catch-Up” at Statunga Health Centre. The immunization program will run from April 24th to 31st this year.
According to Benson Buluma, the Coordinator for the County Expanded Programme on Immunization, immunization has numerous benefits, especially for children, as it helps prevent many diseases such as measles, whooping cough, and others. Buluma also revealed that statistics show that 4,000 women lose their lives every year due to cervical cancer, and 9 women die every day from the disease.
However, this can now be prevented through immunization, and parents with girls aged between 10-14 years are urged to get their cervical cancer immunization.
Buluma also emphasized the importance of regular cancer check-ups, adding that many people don’t know their cancer status early, and when they go for tests, they are often found to be at stage three, which is beyond treatment.
With a population of one million people in Trans Nzoia County, there are 32,029 children under one year, but only 26,025 have been immunized this year, leaving over 6,000 unvaccinated.
Buluma urged community health volunteers to mobilize children who have not been immunized to visit health facilities across the county.
The uptake for measles 2 immunizations is at 54%, and parents with children aged one year and above are urged to take their children for the second dose. Meanwhile, only 34.6% of the population of 73,753 girls aged 10-14 years in the county have received their first HPV cervical cancer immunization, and only 30% have taken the second dose.
This is well below the WHO recommended rate of 70%, and the public is urged to take their children for the HPV immunizations.
Regarding COVID-19, 611,435 people aged 12 and above are eligible for the vaccine, but only 496,133 have received the first dose, and only 125,842 are fully vaccinated. This is still too low, and the public is urged to get vaccinated to help prevent the spread of the virus.
The launch was attended by various officials, including the Sub County Administrator, County Nutrition Coordinator, and Community Health Volunteers. Simon Murei, a member of the County Assembly, called for a collaborative effort from both the national and county governments to ensure that all children receive the required vaccination.
Murei also applauded the efforts of community health volunteers, urging the county government to fast-track the issue of payments or stipends for them.