REPUBLIC OF KENYA

CS Health joins Baringo effort to contain malaria

Baringo, KENYA September 10, 2019 –  Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki has assured the residents of  Baringo, Turkana, West Pokot, Marsabit, Uasin Gishu and Elgeyo, Marakwet counties that the National Government is committed to ensure the current upsurge of malaria is  under control.
The CS who joined efforts in controlling the current malaria outbreak in Baringo County, acknowledged the County Government for working closely with the National Malaria Program and the department of Disease Surveillance and Response that has interrupted transmission, improved treatment outcomes and averted deaths.
In the last three years successes attributed to implementation of malaria interventions have led to the reduction in malaria cases by one third in health facilities countrywide.
The Ministry of Health has been able to distribute 20 million mosquito nets to the most at risk populations, increasing the ownership of the nets in households in the high burden areas to 83%, which translates to increased protection against malaria.
During the occasion the CS who was accompanied by Baringo County Governor Stanley Kiptis flagged off  additional 10,000 insecticide treated bed nets to be distributed within the county especially to pregnant women and children below five years, who are the most vulnerable to malaria.
Malaria remain one of the key public health challenges in the country. This year, several counties including Baringo have experienced elevated levels of malaria cases with a marked strain on the health care delivery system. The  most affected persons are children under the age of five years and expectant women.
To improve immunization coverage and nutritional status in the county the CS also flagged off 1056 bags off Corn Soya Blend Flour, each containing 25kgs of supplements to be distributed to the local health facilities.
As we move to scale up Universal Health Care Coverage (UHC) as part of our Big 4 agenda, Immunization remains not only a key pillar of its delivery but also an important indicator of the strength of UHC.
Baringo County immunization coverage is below the National Target of 80%. Only 72% of infants in the County received all their vaccinations by their first birthday last year and more than 5,500 children missed vaccination, exposing them to deadly preventable diseases.
The current status of vaccination coverage in Baringo is due to interruptions in service delivery at the health facility level, including: suboptimal and irregular immunization outreaches; scheduling of immunization services and challenges in last mile availability of vaccines.
The CS said the Ministry will continues to support the procurement, warehousing and distribution of all childhood vaccines to regional depots.
To date the Ministry has been able to procure, install and commission 81 specialized vaccine refrigerators, valued at Kshs. 41m.
“We are proud to hand over a 4-wheel drive vehicle, a motorbike and four more refrigerators to Baringo County all valued at KES 9m, to support immunization service delivery and reverse the trends in coverage, “ Mrs. Kariuki said.