There are few immunization issues more important than the appropriate storage and handling of vaccines. The success of efforts against vaccine-preventable diseases is attributable in part to proper storage and handling of vaccines.
The county government of West Pokot received a major boost towards improving vaccination exercise after receiving 10 vaccine refrigerators in a partnership programme with World Bank under Transforming Health System; Universal Care Programme
Child Immunisation coverage across the county is expected to improve as a number of health centres did not have access to fridges which would help in storage and proper handling of the vaccines.
Since time immemorial, the vaccines, which remain potent between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius, were stored at the Kapenguria Referral Hospital and were brought down to the community health centres by vehicles.
Unfortunately, as in most villages, there are power challenges to sustaining the cold chain and so the vaccines could not be stored among communities due to the twin problems of electricity and centralisation.
So far, 124 out of the 154 health facilities have been covered in this programme and an additional 15 fridges have been procured. The programme targets rural facilities which have not been connected to the National Energy grid.