Kenyans urged to be vigilant following cholera outbreak

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – The Ministry of health now says that, as of March 21, 2016, there were 12 Counties that had active cholera outbreaks, urging members of the public to take extra caution while handling food items and to observe high hygienic standards.

Through a cholera outbreak situation report, the Ministry listed Wajir, Marsabit, Tharaka Nithi, Tana River, Meru, Busia, Nandi, Garissa, Nakuru, Siaya, Migori and Nairobi Counties as those that were currently reporting cases.

The report further revealed that 16 Counties had contained the epidemic, which has so far affected 28 Counties with a total of 13,299 cases and 216 death deaths being reported nationally.

“Wajir, Marsabit, Tharaka Nithi, Tana River, Meru, Busia and Nandi Counties are experiencing the first wave of the outbreak. Garissa County is reporting the second wave; Nakuru the third wave, Siaya and Migori the 4th wave while Nairobi is reporting the 5th wave,” read the report.

According to the weekly report, the highest number of cases has been seen in those above 46 years followed by those aged between 6 and 15 years.

“The graph shows that all age groups have been affected with the least number of cases seen in those aged 36 to 45 years.”

The Ministry’s report further noted that the outbreak was largely due to the mushrooming of unhygienic food outlets, improper screening of food handlers and profiting of food hawking. Law enforcers were urged to remain vigilant and ensure that high quality controls were upheld.

“Affected Counties have identified health facilities and set up Cholera Treatment Units for case management. Provision of Chemoprophylaxis to close contacts is also being,” noted the report.

Active surveillance is also being done to ensure that new cases are captured at the earliest time possible. The Ministry is, in addition, supplying aqua tabs, pur and waterguard chemicals for domestic water treatment and dosing wells with chlorine.

Efforts to manage solid and human waste management have also been up scaled together with the disinfection of sanitary facilities.

Other interventions have been in community clean up exercises, public barazas, issuance of alert messages to health workers, community awareness campaigns and school health programs.

“Daily review meetings are taking place between health teams and stakeholders. Monitoring and evaluation of the response activities is also being done to assess how effective implemented response activities are and whether there is need for change,” said the report.

The Ministry of Health expects all the affected Counties to submit updated line lists on a daily basis and progress reports on a weekly basis.