• A consignment of 5,460 cartons containing 131,040 bottles of hand sanitiser from UNHCR was received on Saturday.
• “The vaccines are in stock in all county health facilities. I urge residents to take a personal initiative to enable us raise the number of our vaccinated population,” Ali said.
The UNHCR has donated 5,460 cartons containing 131,040 bottles of hand sanitiser to the Garissa government.
The donation was handed over on behalf of UNHCR government liaison associate Mohamed Gurhan to Garissa county secretary Abdi Ali on Saturday at the Emergency Response Centre.
Ali said the sanitisers will be distributed free of charge to all public offices, learning institutions, market places, orphanages, rescue centers and boda boda riders.
He also urged residents to take the jab against Covid-19 and relevant booster shots to cushion themselves.
The county secretary’s rallying call comes just a day after the council of governors raised concerns over the low uptake of Covid-19 vaccines among communities in the arid and semi-arid counties.
The county secretary said the Covid-19 jab will go a long way in boosting immunity as new mutations crop up.
“The Covid-19 vaccines are in stock in all county health facilities. I urge residents to take a personal initiative to enable us raise the number of our vaccinated population which currently stands at 5.4 per cent, one of the lowest in the country,” Ali said.
“Like other counties, Garissa continues to reinforce measures to fight Covid-19. This donation is important for our hygiene response system because it is intended for the most vulnerable in terms of spread namely schools, health facilities and public transport,” he added.
Gurhan said the donation was meant to showcase UNHCR’s solidarity with the county and the people of Garissa in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and to cement their partnership and co-operation.
“UNHCR has resolved to support the Garissa government and its people, in their efforts in coping with infectious diseases.
“We are ready to do everything possible to support this county in the fight against Covid-19 since we are perfectly convinced that public health is the essential and fundamental basis for the inclusive development that Kenya vigorously pursues,” he said.
Gurhan added that preventing the spread of Covid-19 is one of the most effective ways to fight the virus.
“Thanks to this donation, we are able to further support the government in helping the population protect themselves,” he said.
County director of special programmes Abdinoor Ole Hussein, director of donor co-ordination and partnerships Mohamed Sahal and the county public health coordinator Ahmed Haji were present during the event.
Kenya has started administering the Covid-19 vaccine booster, according to the latest vaccination guidelines released less than two weeks ago.
The updated guidelines by the Health ministry will have Kenyans who had been fully vaccinated receive an additional dose of either Moderna, AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine.
The jab will be administered six months after completion of the primary series.
On Wednesday, the council’s chairman Martin Wambora urged his counterparts to intensify vaccination campaigns for wider coverage.
Wambora said the campaign should be directed at those seeking booster jabs, expectant women and children between the ages of 15 and 18.
The council also called on the strengthening of contact tracing for infected persons as well as the county’s testing capacity.
This came at a time when the country’s positivity rate stood at over 25 per cent.
(Edited by Bilha Makokha)