Clerics Accused of Blocking Tetanus Campaign

Some religious organisations in Western and Nyanza provinces have warned worshippers against receiving tetanus vaccination during the ongoing national campaign.

A stakeholders' meeting held at the Western Provincial Commissioner's boardroom was yesterday informed that the campaign for vaccination against tetanus was facing a poor turn-out occasioned by opposition from some religious leaders.

"Certain religious organisations have warned their faithful against going for the immunisation against tetanus in Nyanza and Western provinces.

We are therefore finding it rough to convince the local people to be vaccinated", said the programme officer of the Kenya Expanded Programme on Immunisation Mrs Amina Ismail.

Ismail was addressing a provincial stakeholders advocacy meeting on maternal and neo-natal tetanus campaign chaired by the deputy Western PC Henry Obino.

She spoke out against certain religious organisations, namely The Miracle and Neno churches, operating in Busia, Rachuonyo and Kisumu districts which are some of the areas targeted for the campaign. Ismail said the campaign targets girls and women aged between 15 and 49 years for the vaccination. She said the clerics insist that the jab is not vital or safe and that God will take care of them.

The Provincial Medical Officer Dr Olang'o Onudi, said most expectant mothers and babies risk contracting tetanus because most mothers deliver at home in poor conditions.