Concerns over slash on immunisation funding

George Kebaso @Morarak

Social experts have raised the red flag on the diminishing donor funding for the country’s immunisation coverage which stands at 68 per cent, an estimated 22 per cent short of the 90 per cent globally accepted standards.

The bone of contention is the classification of Kenya by the World Bank in 2015 as a Lower Middle Income Country. Currently, Kenya needs least Sh7 billion per year for vaccines alone.

Consequently, Health Dimensions Africa (HeDiA) is calling on the Ministry of Health and political leadership to put in place an action plan that would cushion millions of Kenyans especially children during the transition.

HeDiA chairman Mwangi Kanagi and the body’s social expert Joyce Matogo say financial needs would rise considering other significant costs required to ensure vaccines reach newborns and children.

And bearing in mind the value of immunisation to prevent deaths from life-threatening diseases such as Tuberculosis, the experts are concerned about the widening gaps in the overall health system as the country transitions to a lower middle income economy.

“Universal immunisation coverage is a critical component of government’s big health agenda that touches on Universal Health Coverage. And by putting in place a good transition plan and adequately funding the programmes in a timely manner, Kenyans will fully meet its own immunisation and vaccines needs and stay safe from any public health disaster,” said Kanagi in a statement.

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