Pan Afr Med J. 2017 Jun 21;27(Suppl 3):15. doi: 10.11604/pamj.supp.2017.27.3.12118. eCollection 2017.
A review of measles control in Kenya with focus on recent innovations.
Manakongtreecheep K1 Davis R2.
Yale University New Haven Ct 06520 USA.
American Red Cross Washington D.C USA.
Despite the existence of a highly effective measles vaccine and the decrease in worldwide deaths from measles by more than 79% from the 2000 baseline levels measles today remains one of the leading causes of vaccine-preventable deaths in the world. The African region is a key player in the global fight against measles. Africa has made tremendous progress in its effort to immunize children and to control the disease increasing its regional measles vaccination coverage from 56% in 2001 to 85% in 2010. The Republic of Kenya has been a strong follower of the World Health Assembly and Measles Elimination 2020 resolutions which aims to eliminate measles from the country. Since the beginning of the 21st century Kenya has faced many challenges but also aid in the form of new innovations in their fight against measles. In 2002 Kenya started its first SIA using A-D syringes and from 2003-2005 GAVI funded injection safety support (INS) to Kenya as an effort to scale-up safe injection in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2016 the Kenya introduced Measles-Rubella (MR) combined vaccine in its nationwide SIA campaign after recognizing that rubella is a disease that must be controlled along with measles. In 2009 and 2012 SIAs Red Cross volunteers conducted H2H visits to promote immunization as well as document information from the community with regards to immunization including the current coverage to campaign management levels. Case-based surveillance using real-time PCR measles-specific IgM detection and Epi-link were used to confirm and map measles infection during outbreaks. Alternative serosurveys such as Dried Blood Spot and Urine sample surveys were also tested in Kenya. In 2013 and 2016 two studies were also conducted in Kenya on the use of SMS reminder system for routine immunization. These studies which showed SMS to significantly improve the vaccination coverage paved way for use of SMS in a larger scale in Kenya.