The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) and its steadfast partners, is gearing up for a pivotal moment in Kenya’s battle against polio. From the 7th to the 11th of October 2023, the nation will witness the launch of the nOPV2 Supplemental Immunization Activity (SIA) Campaign.

In the realm of public health, this campaign represents not only a significant milestone but also a beacon of hope. It signals Kenya’s steadfast commitment to eliminating a disease that has threatened its children for generations. The fight against polio has been long and arduous, spanning three decades, but with just a fraction of the battle remaining, Kenya stands resolute in its mission.

This campaign is not only about numbers but also about lives and futures. Approximately 3.1 million individuals across ten counties – Nairobi, Kiambu, Kajiado, Machakos, Kitui, Tana River, Garissa, Lamu, Wajir, and Mandera – will receive the protective shield of the nOPV2 vaccine.

Dr. Emmanuel Okungu, Head of the Disease Surveillance and Response Unit, spoke passionately about the campaign’s goals and mentioned that in the first campaign, they had targeted 1.8 million children. However, they surpassed their target and reached 1.9 million. He also acknowledged that there are still more children they have missed, emphasizing that the numbers are not just statistics; they represent lives saved and futures protected.

Moreover, this campaign is not a solitary effort. Kenya, in partnership with WHO, UNICEF, and other dedicated organizations, has committed substantial resources to ensure its success. A commitment of $3 million and the deployment of 90 personnel underscore the magnitude of this mission.

Mary Muthoni, Principal Secretary of the State Department of Public Health and Professional Standards, stated that this campaign is a collective responsibility. Routine immunization and comprehensive vaccination are paramount. The government’s determination is fortified by the invaluable support of its partners, united in the cause of eradicating polio from Kenyan soil.