Kenya cases hit 83,000 as MoH prepares for COVID-19 vaccine shot

Kenya’s coronavirus tally has continued on an upward trend, after 711 people contracted the virus. This raises the tally to 83,316 cases confirmed in the country. – By Gerald Gekara.

In the new statistics, Nairobi reported (190) cases; Mombasa (88), Nakuru (78), Nyandarua (35), Murang’a (34), Kitui (30), Machakos (28), Nyeri (27), Embu (25), Busia (21), Kiambu (17), Vihiga (16), Kisumu (13), Kilifi (11), Isiolo (11), Meru (10), Turkana (10).

Other counties reported cases as follows; Kajiado (6), Kwale (5), Homa Bay (5), Makueni (4), Kisii (2), Uasin Gishu (2), Migori (2), while Nandi, Samburu, Kericho, Tharaka Nithi, Baringo, Taita Taveta, Lamu and Bomet each had (1) case.

However, 576 patients have recovered from the disease, 469 from the Home-Based Care Program, while 107 have been discharged from various hospitals. The total recoveries now stand at 54,975.

Kenya’s death toll rose to 1,452 after the death of 7 patients who had contracted the virus.

WHO, You’re Not ready for a vaccine

As the race to find a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is showing increasing promise, a new World Health Organization (WHO) analysis finds that Africa is far from ready for what will be the continent’s largest ever immunization drive. 

All 47 countries in the WHO African Region have received WHO’s Vaccine Readiness Assessment Tool which is intended to be used by Ministries of Health, with support from WHO and UNICEF.

It provides a roadmap for countries to plan for COVID-19 vaccine introduction and covers 10 key areas: planning and coordination, resources and funding, vaccine regulations, service delivery, training and supervision, monitoring and evaluation, vaccine logistics, vaccine safety and surveillance and communications and community engagement.

Forty countries have updated the tool and provided data to WHO. An analysis finds that based on the self-reports by the countries, the African region has an average score of 33% readiness for a COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, which is well below the desired benchmark of 80%.

“The largest immunization drive in Africa’s history is right around the corner, and African governments must urgently ramp up readiness. Planning and preparation will make or break this unprecedented endeavour, and we need active leadership and engagement from the highest levels of government with solid, comprehensive national coordination plans and systems put in place,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.