On 8 September, SIF Senior Program Officer Diana Kizza and two members of the Kenyan Pediatric Society briefed six Kenyan MPs on immunization financing issues in the country. It was the country’s first such Sabin-organized briefing. Six of eleven Parliamentary Health Committee members attended.
Representing the KPS were Drs. David Githanga and Fred Were, both longtime child health advocates. The presentation focused on the need for Kenya to increase its routine immunization budget. Were and Githanga explained to the MPs that the country should set aside new funds so that it can finance the newer, more expensive vaccines coming into routine use. Adding pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines to the schedule will push costs up to around US$30-35 per infant. Like other countries, Kenya has depended until now on GAVI, UNICEF and other donors to meet most of these newer vaccine costs.
The MPs expressed their gratitude for the briefing. They also asked Sabin to provide examples of immunization-related legislation from other countries for the Committee to study.