NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya plans to enhance border surveillance in order to curb
outbreaks of polio in the country, officials said on Tuesday.
of Health Acting Director of Medical Services Francis Kioko told a health forum
in Nairobi that Kenya has not reported a single case of indigenous polio since
1984 while last reported case three years ago was imported into the country.
"We are strengthening our monitoring and surveillance of polio virus at
border points as some of our neighboring countries have weak health systems that
are vulnerable to polio," Kioko said during a polio eradication forum.
"We have also stepped up collaboration with health authorities from
neighbouring states in order to curb spread of the infectious virus," he noted.
The international community has set a target of a polio free world in 2018.
"This is a very ambitious target given the different challenges that many
countries are facing including civil conflicts that disrupt proper functioning
of heath systems," Kioko said.
According to the ministry of health, Kenya’s immunization rate for polio
currently stands at 80 percent nationally.
"However, there are some counties especially in the arid and semi-arid areas
that have immunization rates as low as 50 percent," Kioko said.
He added that these remote regions still face challenges of lack of adequate
skilled health personnel and facilities.
He said that the government has now embarked on a strategy to focus health
investments on the high-risk regions so that the country achieves universal
access to polio immunization.