Kenya, Uganda Scientists Brainstorm Solutions To Vaccine Access

Scientists from Uganda and Kenya have collaborated on studies on vaccination access issues impacting disadvantaged groups in these two nations’ rural locations.

Certain illnesses, according to the experts, can be contained if people in the countryside have access to vaccinations, according to the scientists who met for three days at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) Wellcome Trust in Kilifi County and remotely with their Ugandan colleagues.

The Global Research Health Groups on Vaccines (Vanguard) initiative, financed by the National Institute for Health Care Research (NIHR), targets disadvantaged groups and tries to address questions about vaccination uptake, accessibility, and efficacy.

Prof Sam Kinyanjui, Head of Research Training at KEMRI Wellcome Trust Kilifi, stated that they were pleased to hold their first meeting between researchers from Kenya and Uganda Virus Research Institute and the London School of Tropical Medicine to learn more about vaccines in East African communities.
Speaking at the KEMRI Wellcome Trust Kilifi, he stated that vaccines are more essential than therapy in avoiding the spread of many diseases.

He stated that it has been difficult to ensure that vaccinations are available in vulnerable groups to aid in the prevention of the illnesses targeted since they were developed from trials conducted in other countries.

Prof Dorcas Kamuya KEMRI Wellcome Trust Program Special Scientist Head of health systems and research ethics department said in the current collaborative research program they are looking at social and structural factors that might affect vaccine uptake.

She said it encompasses the factors that may make families or communities take vaccines or hinder the uptake of the vaccine such as malnutrition.

 “The Way the child eats the kinds of foods they are eating and how that food builds up in their bodies can have an impact on whether the body will respond to the vaccine, ”she said.

Kamuya said they are also looking at the Economical factors such as the Cost of food, cost of livelihood, and cost of transport to reach health facilities which bring in the issue of priorities among families.

To her, for vaccines to be effective there has to be a large number of people taking up the vaccines.