Members of the County Assembly of Kakamega have been urged to consider allocating funds for immunizable diseases for children under the age of five given that most of the donors are currently stepping down. It is a call from KANCO, an organization that specializes in health matters whose intention is to ensure that no child gets crippled or loses his or her life due to a lack of immunization.
In a meeting that incorporated members of the health committee from the Kakamega assembly and other health officials from the County, Maureen Asembo, the Western region programs officer said that it’s time for the nation as a whole to get independent on the issues of immunization.
Asembo argued that it’s been decades since the country gained independence and as at now the country should be in a position to handle important issues like health and the rest of the Big Four Agenda.
She called upon the MCAs to consider allocating funds in their financial budgets to take care of the immunization needs and save the children.
She said that Kakamega is among the 17 Counties that are lagging behind on issues of immunization and thus the need for the lawmakers to consider the fund. “We have realized that Kakamega is still lagging behind in immunization, but we want to have a joint effort to ensure all children are immunized,” said Asembo. Immunizable diseases include tuberculosis, polio, measles among others.
Kakamega County director of Public Health Dr. Arthur Andere confessed that the level of immunization in the County is still below average. “The nation’s target as at now over immunization is 90 percent while Kakamega is still struggling at 79 percent,” said Dr. Andere.
He linked the low levels to poor health-seeking behaviours amongst the residents adding that they are working together with a number of partners to ensure that they reach each child at their homes.
Health committee chair at the Kakamega County assembly Lukas Radoli on behalf of the MCAs applauded the initiative and promised to lobby his fellow members at the assembly to consider passing the allocated funds.
He said that he is planning to come up with a bill on funding community health volunteers so that they can lobby people from the grassroots to ensure that their children are immunized.
He confessed that in the previous budgets the assembly has been passing small budgets when it comes to immunization having in mind support from donors on the same.