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Ciheb-Kenya on the Front Lines of the COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

Ciheb-Kenya, our local Kenyan partner, worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Kenya Ministry of Health, and the National Vaccines and Immunization Programme to provide support for COVID-19 vaccine preparedness through the Technical Assistance to Ready and Accelerate Capacities of Public Health Programs in Kenya (TRACK) project. The country received its first shipment of vaccine several weeks ago and has been moving ahead quickly.

“We have a very elaborate and well-established immunization program in Kenya,” said Dr. Emily Koech, CEO of Ciheb-Kenya. “We’ve been working to make sure the country was ready for this day.”

See Dr. Koech’s interview on KTN News.

Ciheb-Kenya ensured that priority counties were prepared for implementation and distribution of the vaccine and other therapeutics. This included facility assessments and renovations to prepare the infrastructure for proper infection control and decongesting certain bottlenecks. Other resources have gone into vaccine awareness and training staff to ensure quality health services will be provided.

As of April 13, approximately 570,000 people had received the AstraZeneca vaccine in Kenya. Nairobi County has had over 171,000 people vaccinated, accounting for 32.6 percent of the total, the most by county. Kisumu and Siaya Counties, other counties where TRACK works, have had 14,700 and 6,445 people vaccinated, respectively.

The TRACK program continues to work with the Ministry of Health to roll out the vaccination campaign. This includes training healthcare workers on vaccine administration, data management, and safety surveillance post-vaccination. TRACK is also supporting advocacy and communication in counties and at the national level to ensure communication, social mobilization, and education of the public on vaccination, countering misinformation, and designated vaccination centers the public can receive the vaccinations.

"This is a really monumental time for us," Dr. Koech said. "It’s been almost a year or slightly over a year since the first case was diagnoses, and to be able to roll out a vaccine around this time and to be a part of that is really important to us."

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