18 April 2019

Kenya: Shortage of Clean Water to Blame for Cholera Outbreak - Ministry

Shortage of clean water has been cited as the reason Nairobi, Narok, Kajiado, Garissa and Machakos counties have experienced cases of cholera.

Poor sanitation and unhygienic practices in isolated high risk areas have also contributed to cholera outbreak in the mentioned regions.

In a press release on the outbreak of Cholera, the Ministry of Health urged the affected counties to advise the public to refer any suspected cases to the nearest health facility or temporary cholera treatment centres for assessment and treatment.

The Ministry further assured the public that with the heightened surveillance and the ongoing intervention measures, the situation is under control.

Aware of the fact that health was a devolved function, the ministry has asked counties to put in place mitigation measures to stem the outbreak.

"The national and county multi- disciplinary teams have been dispatched to all affected areas to support in implementing response measures and support technical capacity of counties," the statement said.

The ministry has also distributed cholera combating supplies comprising pharmaceutical, non-pharmaceutical and laboratory diagnostic support to help timely confirmation and treatment.

Counties reporting new cases have also set up cholera treatment centers in the affected areas to support timely and appropriate treatment.

The ministry further said they are strengthening Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) activities including distribution of chlorine tablets for household water treatment.

Last month, Nairobi County Health Director Lucina Koyio asked medical superintendents to be on high alert as the country was experiencing a wave of cholera outbreaks.

The county estates that had reported cholera outbreak and were on high alert included Donholm, Nyayo, Tassia, Avenue 1-3, Pipeline, and South B and the surrounding areas, including Mlolongo in Machakos County.

Cholera is a bacterial disease usually spread through contaminated water or food. -Kna

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