COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT MULLS OVER GENDER BARRIERS AFFECTING IMMUNISATION UPTAKE

COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT MULLS OVER GENDER BARRIERS AFFECTING IMMUNISATION UPTAKE

February 2, 2024 (Public Communications and Media Relations)

The County Department of Health and Sanitation has deliberated on how to boost immunisation uptake by reducing gender barriers.

This follows the dissemination of findings from research conducted in Turkana West by PATH Living Labs through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The research aimed to understand gender barriers in the community related to immunization and decision-making.

During the dissemination meeting, County Expanded Program on Immunization Focal Person, Daniel Erus said that the county government has intensified routine immunisation targeting the under five-year-old children with zero doses, Measles-Rubella 1 and 2, and Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for adolescent girls aged 10 to 14 years.

“Currently fully immunized coverage stands at 65%, implying we need to put more effort to reach the World Health Organisation recommended 80% target,” he said.

County Gender-based Violence Coordinator, Shadrack Elim, pointed out that conducting gender analysis allows for the development of interventions that address gender inequalities and meet the diverse needs of men and women.

PATH Team Lead, Dr Chris Okumu said that the organisation was willing to work with the county government on male engagement in health matters.

“This will influence positive health-seeking behaviour in increasing immunisation uptake at the community and household level,” he added.

The PATH Living Labs team also disseminated findings on immunisation pilot strategies implemented in schools and communities in Turkana Central, Loima, and Turkana East.

PATH Living Labs’ Design and Innovation Expert, Shamim Omar, highlighted the success of initiatives such as Girl-2-Girl, HPV Advocacy Through Art (HATA), the use of local administration in creating awareness and increasing HPV, MR1, and MR2 vaccines uptake were yielding positive results.

Present were a selected number of staff from the County Health Management and other PATH Living Labs representatives.

TOBONGU LORE

13TH-14TH AUGUST 2024