Embu Priests block measles vaccination in their schools

Embu Priests block measles vaccination in their schools

Several Catholic Church sponsored schools in Embu county have blocked health officials from accessing the institutions to vaccinate pupils in the ongoing campaign against Measles. Embu County Director of Medical Services Dr. Stephen Kaniaru said that the school heads have totally blocked the health officials from vaccinating the children saying that they are in talks with the priests. Kaniaru said that the county is targeting to immunize over 175,000 children saying that they have so far managed to vaccinate around 91,000 across the county. County Executive Committee Member for Health Pauline Njagi said the priest in charge of the Catholic Schools in the area, Fr. Wanyoike, remained non-committal on whether they will allow the vaccination. In the meantime, she advised parents who have pupils in the Catholic-sponsored schools to take them for vaccination in neighbouring health centers. “We have talked to some of the schools and they have understood and allowed us to vaccinate the children, but some of them have remained adamant over the important vaccine,” she said. Njagi said that the parents, teachers and priests should understand the importance of the vaccines and allow their children to benefit from it. Four days ago, a Measles-Rubella and tetanus immunization exercise kicked off across the country. According to the Ministry of Health, the exercise is the largest immunization event in history and is targeting some 19 million children between the ages of 9 months and 14 years and over 800,000 women. The nationwide immunization exercise is being conducted across all government health centres and selected churches and schools. The children will get jabs of a new combined vaccine, which offers them double protection against measles and rubella. Women aged 14 to 49 years will also form part of the campaign as they are immunized against tetanus.

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