Kenya celebrates pneumococcal vaccine rollout

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Kenya marks the introduction of pneumococcal vaccine into its national immunisation programme with a special event at Nairobi's International Conference Centre.

14 February 2011

Kenya pneumococcal launch 1 Queueing mothers
Riccardo Gangale/GAVI/2011

Hundreds of mothers were invited to the ICC event so their children could be immunised against Kenya's second biggest children. Each year, 35,000 under-fives die from pneumonia, the most common form of serious pneumococcal  disease.

Kenya pneumococcal launch 2 Opportune time
Riccardo Gangale/GAVI/2011

“This vaccine has come at a most opportune time. One in every five deaths of children in our country is attributed to pneumonia,” said President Mwai Kibaki, who attended the ceremony with Health and Sanitation minister Beth Mugo (left).

Kenya pneumococcal launch 3 First of three
Riccardo Gangale/GAVI/2011

Mary Wambui looks on as a nurse delivers the first of three pneumococcal vaccine doses to her daughter Esther Nyambura. The scene will be repeated countless times oin health clinics across the country, as Kenya targets 85% pneumococcal vaccine coverage by 2012.

Kenya pneumococcal launch 4 Global rollout
Riccardo Gangale/GAVI/2011

“The introduction of the pneumococcal vaccine is an historic step towards improved health for children in Kenya and in other developing countries,” said Health Minister Beth Mugo, addressing the ICC ceremony.  Since the start of 2011, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guyana, Honduras and Yemen have also introduced the vaccine.

Kenya pneumococcal launch 5 Training sessions
Piers Benatar/GAVI/2011

From the moment the first consignment of pneumococcal vaccines reached Kenya in September 2010, Eunice Wanjiku Njabu and 1,000s of her fellow health workers have been attending one-day training sessions, learning how to administer the vaccine.  

Kenya pneumococcal launch 6 Helpless
Riccardo Gangale/GAVI/2011

Without access to pneumococcal vaccines, nurses at Nairobi's Langata Health Centre are helpless to defend nearby Kibera shanty town’s youngest generations from pneumonia.

Tabitha Muikali, 32, who lives with one-year-old son John Dolo, could only watch as her eldest son spent one month losing his fight to survive the illness. 

Kenya pneumococcal launch 7 Hospitalised
Riccardo Gangale/GAVI/2011

Boniface Ajwala, medical officer at Langata, listens to the breathing of Esther Wabui, aged five. Esther is undergoing treatment for pneumonia. Nearly half of the children treated at the health centre are brought in suffering from pneumonia.

Kenya pneumococcal launch 8 Aware
Riccardo Gangale/GAVI/2011

Josephine Anyango, aged 21, stands outside her house in Kibera with her 11-month-old daughter Michelle Atieno. Aware of the risks of contracting pneumonia, Juliet was one of the mothers queueing to vaccinate their children at the ICC launch event.

Kenya pneumococcal launch 9 Happiness
Riccardo Gangale/GAVI/2011

Kenyan mothers’ happiness at seeing their children receive the life-saving pneumococcal vaccination reflects the success of the Health Ministry’s ‘Stop Pneumonia. There is a solution’ campaign, which has helped rise national awareness of pneumonia.

Kenya pneumococcal launch 10 Grow up healthy
Riccardo Gangale/GAVI/2011

“The roll-out of the pneumococcal vaccine has become a reality across the world allowing developing country governments to reduce deaths and enable millions of children to grow up healthy,” said Helen Evans, interim CEO of GAVI.

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