Kenya

Measles Outbreak DREF operation n° MDRKE017

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Summary: CHF 299,869 has been allocated from the Federation’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the National Society in delivering immediate assistance to some 883,796 children. Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.

Kenya has been implementing a successful routine vaccination over the years, in an effort to achieve herd immunity for each of the vaccine preventable diseases. However, over the past three years, the country has been experiencing recurring outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases, mainly measles, polio and pertusis. As a result, the Division of Vaccines and Immunizations (DVI) in the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation (MoPHS), with support of partners, conducted vaccination campaigns in response to the outbreaks, including the National Integrated Measles Campaign conducted in 2009. The campaigns also form part of a strategy to reduce the number of susceptible individuals by boosting vaccination coverage towards the herd immunity threshold.

The DVI has requested for support from key partners, to conduct a measles vaccination campaign in 22 districts within 3 provinces (Rift Valley, Nairobi and North Eastern) following an outbreak of measles that was reported in these districts. According to the MoPHS, a total of 1,046 cases of Measles have been line-listed between 27 December 2010 and 14 April 2011, with 427 cases being listed in April alone. A total of 80 of these cases have been confirmed as measles using serological tests and 11 deaths from measles have been confirmed this year (Case Fatality Proportion of 11.1%). The campaign was initially planned for 57 districts considered as high risk (which are approaching the threshold for outbreaks). However, this has since been revised to 22, due to financial constraints.

Since Nairobi Province is easily accessible by mass media, the MoPHS-led measles technical working group has proposed mass media and road shows as the main strategy to conduct social mobilization there. Other areas pose challenges. The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) therefore proposes to direct its efforts towards supporting the hard to reach areas, mainly targeting 14 of the 22 districts, specifically in the greater Turkana districts in Rift Valley Province and multiple districts of North-Eastern Province. In these areas, Red Cross community volunteers will support interpersonal communication with child caregivers, reaching schools, social gatherings and public address campaigns. The volunteers will visit households before, during and after vaccination to ensure all eligible children are vaccinated. During the campaign itself, the volunteers will also assist in registration and crowd management. KRCS will also support the exercise logistically, utilizing its vehicles for movement of vaccines and personnel, as well as supervision of social mobilization across the vast and arid area.

This operation is expected to be implemented over 3 months, and will therefore be completed by 31 July 2011; a Final Report will be made available three months after the end of the operation (by 31 October 2011).