A baby in Bomet county in Kenya died earlier this week shortly after receiving the measles vaccine at a government health center in the town of Mogogosiek. Four other babies—all under one year of age—were also given the measles vaccine at the health center and became swollen and critically ill. They were rushed to the intensive care and high dependency units at Tenwek Mission Hospital in Bomet.1 2
Simon Kirui, the father of the deceased baby noted his child was healthy prior to the vaccination. According to Mr. Kirui:
We sought a routine vaccination from a government facility and it resulted in the loss of our beloved child. We now hold the government liable since the facility is run by the county. They claim the vaccines were supplied by KEMSA.1
KEMSA is the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority. It is a state corporation under the Kenyan government’s Ministry of Health. It is responsible for buying, storing and distributing drugs and medical supplies for public health programs in Kenya.3
“It is sad that I have lost my child when I was in an attempt to have him vaccinated,” said Kirui.4
The deputy governor of Bomet, Hillary Barchok, confirmed that local authorities are investigating the situation and that the incidents have been reported to the Ministry of Health in Nairobi. In the meantime, all vaccinations in the county have been suspended.1 2 “We are concerned about the incident as a county. We would like to know why the vaccines that were yet to expire caused such a reaction in the children,” said Barchok.5
1 Kipkemoi F. Baby dead, four admitted after measles vaccine in Bomet. The Star Jan. 17, 2018.
2 Kimutai G. Child dies, four admitted to hospital after measles vaccine. Standard Digital Jan. 18, 2018.
3 KEMSA. About KEMSA. KEMSA.co.ke.
4 Rono G. Child dies in Bomet after reacting to measles vaccine. Daily Nation Jan. 18, 2018.
5 Kimutai G. County recalls measles vaccine after child dies. Standard Digital Jan. 19, 2018.