By Reuben Olita
The County Government of Busia through the Department of Health and Sanitation has engaged stakeholders to help increase Coronavirus-19 vaccine uptake in the County.
Speaking during the meeting held at the Busia County Referral Hospital (BCRH), the Director Preventive and Promotive Services, Dr Melsah Lutomia underscored the importance of working together to accelerate the uptake of Covid-19 vaccine.
“We have intensified our efforts to achieve the target of vaccinating 193,142 persons in the County within 10 days by engaging various stakeholders to support the Rapid Results Initiative (RRI),” she said.
The exercise which kicked off on February 1, 2022 targets seven Sub Counties among them Bunyala (18,575), Butula (30,319), Matayos (30,767), Nambale (24,118), Samia (23,253), Teso North (29,889) and Teso South (36,321).
“Let us join hands to achieve the objective of fighting Covid-19 by ensuring that locals are vaccinated”, Dr Lutomia emphasized.
Lutomia said they are working closely with the National Government and various partners among them Kenya Red Cross, UNICEF and CIHEB which are supporting the County through outreaches, capacity building and vaccine collection.
The County Community Health Services Coordinator, Emmanuel Luvai and the Government Relations Manager, Living Goods, Patrick Adera said the Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) who are potential mobilizers will be instrumental in encouraging locals at the grass root level to get vaccinated.
The Busia County Teachers Service Commission (TSC) representative Rae Josephine said Principals and Headteachers have been instructed to set up desks in schools across the County where pupils , students and other individuals who are eligible for vaccination will be inoculated starting from 4pm.
Also present were representatives from different sectors including Boda Bodas, Chamber of Commerce, churches and cross border traders.
“We will allow churches and mosques to be used as vaccination centres,” said Apostle John Muiruri who is the Chairman of the Peace and Interfaith Committee.
Key among challenges raised by stakeholders which have greatly affected efforts towards increasing the number of persons vaccinated is vaccine hesitancy.