So far this year a total of 767 confirmed cases of measles have been reported throughout the country although many more cases are suspected.32 children have died of the disease. The epidemic started in refugee camps in north eastern Kenya before spreading to the rest of the country.
Between 3rd and 7th November the government will would conduct a nationwide measles vaccination campaign targeting 6 million children between the ages of 9 months and 5 years, in an attempt to contain the situation. The campaign against measles will also see that children up to the ages of 15 years, living in refugee camps, get vaccinated. A Government official has explained that the incessant outbreaks were as a result of a large population of children who had missed their immunisation. "We only have 85 percent coverage so 15 percent of our children are not immunised and as they get older the numbers build up to a critical mass," he explained.
Measles is highly contagious and travellers to Kenya should ensure that they are adequately vaccinated. This applies particularly to those born in the Sixties and Seventies who will not have received vaccination in infancy.