Long distance to access covid-19 vaccine especially by the aged and persons with disabilities has been attributed to low uptake of the jab in rural areas.
Ahadi Kenya Trust Executive Director Dr. Stanley Kamau has observed that senior citizens have been experiencing challenges to access selected medical facilities which offer the Covid jab..
A number of selected level-4 and private hospitals administering the jab are beyond the reach of the vulnerable targeted groups
Speaking at Kiamuturi area of Mathioya Sub County, Kamau said the jab could only be accessed at a few selected hospitals which were far from the majority of the village folks.
He suggested that the ambulances and mobile clinics which were donated by Beyond Zero programme could be used to take the vaccine near to the people to ease the burden of travelling for long distances for the services.
“Our aged people are finding it hard to reach the facilities where the covid-19 jab is being administered. That’s one of reasons why administration of the vaccine in rural areas is still low,” said Kamau who was accompanied by Mathioya MP, Peter Kimari.
Kamau advised that dispensaries and chiefs’ camps can be used as areas to give out the vaccines so as to ensure many local people get vaccinated.
The director added that information about the vaccine in rural areas is scanty and there is propaganda associated with the jab which needs to be dispelled through proper education.
He explained that the coronavirus pandemic is greatly affecting people at grassroots and focus can be directed to people at villages.
“People aged above 70 years and whom some have underlying medical conditions need to be vaccinated and the best thing to achieve this is to take the jab close to them,” added the anti-jigger campaigner.
Kamau’s sentiments come when only 3 percent of Murang’a residents have received a full dose of covid-19 vaccine.
In the past three weeks, long queues have been witnessed at hospitals which are administering the vaccine. Many of the residents are receiving the first dose.
Kamau spoke as his organization distributed food stuff and blankets to aged people drawn from parts of Mathioya Sub County.
“Beyond Zero programme which is spearheaded by the First lady, Margret Kenyatta donated vehicles to all counties and I may appeal to our county government to use the vehicle which is installed with necessary equipment, to take the vaccine to the people at grassroots,” he added.
Murang’a County in the recent past has recorded a covid-19 positivity rate of above 30 percent with increased calls to local residents to get vaccinated.
Kamau said Ministry of Interior administrators including chiefs and their assistants can be used to sensitize and mobilize the locals to go for the vaccine.
A Mathioya resident, Samuel Mwangi encouraged locals to go for the vaccine saying the pandemic has claimed many lives in the county.
“Covid-19 is real. We have lost our friends, family members and the best thing is to get the vaccine which the government has brought to us,” he added.