NAIROBI– The Kenyan government is set to begin an emergency polio vaccination campaign on Wednesday following the detection of the high-risk virus with the five-day oral vaccination effort targeting some 2.4million children under the age five years in 12 high-risk counties.

The campaign comes amidst worrying statistics which reveal a decline in the number of children being taken for vaccination, says the Head of Health Promotion at the Health Ministry, Dr. Sammy Mahugu, who confirms there has been a surge in the circulation of a high-risk polio virus.

This has prompted the Ministry of Health to launch the emergency polio response campaign, he added here Monday. The strategy is aimed at preventing infection through immunizing until transmission stops.

The door-to-door vaccination exercise will be conducted in the 12 high-risk counties — Nairobi, Kajiado, Kitui, Machakos, Meru, Isiolo, Tana River, Lamu, Garissa, Wajir and Mandera.

Traces of the polio virus type2 was found in sewage samples collected in Eastleigh, Nairobi, in March and the Ministry warned that the polio virus can cause paralysis in people who are not immunized.

It is important to note is that polio has no cure, but it can be easily prevented by the vaccine. The polio vaccine is free, and I appeal to all parents to ensure that their children receive this vaccination, says the Cabinet Secretary (Minister) for Health, Sicily Kariuki.