In Jan 2010 the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI) and its partners are rolling out a new vaccine to prevent pneumonia in Kenya. In the developing world, pneumonia kills in the neighborhood of 1.4 million kids every year. Pneumococcal, the deadliest strain of that illness (and a major cause of what we might call “regular” pneumonia), kills 800,000.
Kenya's pneumococcal vaccine's official launch date is Feb 14, but we were able to photograph a clinic near the Kibera slum in Nairobi that already started providing the vaccine this week.
This health center is the Langata (sometimes called Kibera) District’s regional distribution center for the 36 clinics within the district. They collect all of the vaccines from the Regional Disbursement Center and, since they must maintain the cold chain to ensure the efficacy and safety of the vaccine, haul them back to Langata in well-used, white Styrofoam coolers. There, they are stored in an upright, avocado green refrigerator. But, it works and that’s what counts. They are then divided up and dispersed to the 27 clinics in the District that have trained personnel to give the vaccines.