HomeHealthDiseaseMinistry of Health, WHO collaborate to enhance Poliovirus detection in five counties

    Ministry of Health, WHO collaborate to enhance Poliovirus detection in five counties

    The Kenya Ministry of Health has collaborated with the World Health Organization to enhance its ability to detect polioviruses.

    Speaking in Kibra as he oversaw the last day of polio immunization, CS Mutahi Kagwe said they had established 17 environmental sites in five counties. The sites, he said, would help them better detect the presence of the dangerous polio vaccine in sewage.

    17 environmental sites

    “Our Ministry, in collaboration with WHO, has established 17 environmental sites in Mombasa, Nairobi, Garissa, Isiolo, and Kisumu counties which have enhanced our abilities to detect the polioviruses circulating in the community through sewage sampling,” Kagwe said.

    The CS also lauded the efforts by the division of disease surveillance and epidemic response, which were part of public health, for picking up Polio viruses within the Kenyan borders. Kagwe underscored the importance of County and Community collaborations in containing the health risk of Polio and other dangerous illnesses.

    Immunization campaign

    Kenya has been on a Polio immunization campaign over the past few weeks in targeted counties, with phase one of the program ending today. The second phase of immunization will begin on June 19th-23rd this year.

    So far, the Ministry of Health has immunized 2,556,639 children under the age of five against Polio by the end of Tuesday (May 25). This was, however, well below their target of over 3.4 million. Mutahi Kagwe urged people in the targeted counties to visit the nearest health centres to have their children vaccinated.


    Polio, in full Poliomyelitis, is an infectious disease caused by the poliovirus. The virus thrives in areas of poor sanitation. It spreads easily from fecal matter to water supply. Furthermore, it could get into the body by eating food with hands contaminated with the virus.

    The virus attacks the human nervous system and can result in total paralysis within a matter of hours after infection. Additionally, it is most common in children under the ages of five. It has no cure, but the Polio vaccine, given multiple times to children, protects one from the virus for life.

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