3 October 2017

Kenya: Malaria Kills 9 in Baringo, Dozens Diagnosed in Marsabit

Photo: The New Times
(file photo).

At least nine have died from Malaria in Tirioko Ward in Tiaty Sub-County, Baringo over the last five days and dozens more are facing death as they struggle to seek medication for the killer disease.

According to residents and local leaders, those who died failed to get treatment in time. The most-affected villages are Kapau, Chesawach, Tayier, Gulel, Akoret and Kongor in the ward which are more than 100 kilometre away from the Sub-County's Hospital in Chemolingot centre.

Kapau Location Chief Sadaam Kalale confirmed that nine deaths had been reported in Kongor village alone and that he had been informed of more deaths in Gulel and Chesawach.

"I have received information that nine people, mostly women and children have died in Kongor from Malaria. The area is quite vast so we are still finding out if there are more deaths. I have been told there are more deaths in other villages. It is a serious situation," he said.

REMOTE VILLAGES

Malaria is treatable but residents in remote villages have been unable get to nearby hospitals located kilometers away as the roads are bad and have to walk to the health facilities.

The residents said most of those suffering from the disease lost their lives on the way to the nearby clinics.

When the Nation visited the villages on Monday, a number of people lay on the road as they waited for assistance.

In Kapau Chepochot Loile, 25, looked frail and exhausted. She said she had walked long and was still about 30 kilometres away from a private clinic in the area. She feared she might die on the way.

OUTBREAK

Meanwhile, in Marsabit County about 1,300 people have been diagnosed with malaria a week after the disease claimed 17 people.

Several others are admitted in health facilities in Dukana and Illeret, in North Horr and Laisamis constituencies. In Dukana, 400 were diagnosed Malaria positive and 20 residents admitted on Monday.

Marsabit County Health director Adano Koch said four people died while receiving treatment while 13 others died before seeking medical care. He said the disease broke out following rains in Dukana, Mote, Illeret, Loiyangalani and North Horr.

"The more than 1300 people have been diagnosed in the last four days after we deployed health officers in Laisamis and North Horr. The county, national government and non-governmental organisations are pooling resources to contain the outbreak. The health workers are overwhelmed due to the high number of people seeking treatment," Dr Koch said.

Kenya National Malaria Control Programme head Dr Waqo Erjesa said Marsabit is a seasonal transmission zone that experiences short periods of intense malaria transmission during the rainy seasons.

"Since the area is a low prevalence zone, residents have low immunity to malaria," Dr Erjesa said.

Dukana MCA Elema Diba said there was need for deployment of more health personnel to reach far flung manyattas and provide medication and nets.

He said more than 1,000 nets had been supplied by the Kenya Red Cross in the affected areas.

According to the Ministry of Health, Malaria cases reduced from 11 per cent in 2010 to eight per cent this year.

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