Lack of IDs locks street families out of Covid jab

Tuesday, December 7th, 2021 00:30 | By
Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi (left) and Kenya Private Sector Alliance chief executive Carole Kariuki (right) during the media briefing on the commencement of Phase One of the private sector-led Covid-19 vaccinations in Nairobi, yesterday. Photo/PD/GERALD ITHANA

Hundreds of youthful street children in Nairobi county claim they have been locked out of Covid-19 vaccination centres for failure to identify themselves, leaving them exposed to the deadly virus.

The youths, mostly under 30s, claim they do not have identity cards and birth certificates which are key requirements for the exercise.

Those who spoke to People Daily yesterday said they were keen to get the jabs. “None of us here has been vaccinated. We have tried looking for these vaccines but without IDs no one is interested to allow us into the vaccination centres,” said James Omari Kang’ole, a leader of the youths living behind Muthurwa market.

The street families have been working with Undugu Society of Kenya to find more convenient ways to get registered and acquire the vital document.
Society’s Executive Director Eric Mukoya said it was unfortunate that some Kenyans were unable to get the jab despite the government’s robust efforts to promote the uptake of the vaccines.

“We have been working with a number of these families in estates like Kayole and Dandora and from the data collected, most of them do not have IDs because they cannot meet some of the requirements to get them,” Mukoya said.

For one to get the identification document, they must present their birth certificates, those of their parents or a letter from the area chief to ascertain that they are indeed Kenyans.

The youths said they did not have either of the documents making it a torturous journey to acquire the ID.

“When we go out to get vital documents we are asked to offer bribes by the local administrators. We cannot afford to feed ourselves so how can one even ask for a bribe from people who can barely afford a meal?” asked Brian Muange, a society member.

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