Cholera alert sounded in Kenyan Capital

April 1, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 1- Kenya’s Capital City, Nairobi, has now been declared to be at risk of a cholera outbreak that has hit some parts of the country.
Director of Public Health, Dr Shahnaaz Sharif, said on Wednesday that the Ministry of Public Health was taking precautions to ensure no cases occurred in Nairobi, which was a transit point.

“I remember we had one case in 2006 and from one case it became around 250 cases of cholera. So we are taking all precautions here in Nairobi, making sure that the surveillance system works,” he told a news conference.

“The secret of cholera control is having a surveillance system that works,” he emphasised.

Public Health Minister Beth Mugo was at pains to explain why it had taken long to contain the disease with the number of confirmed cases having risen to 173.

47 deaths have also been reported and 72 people are currently admitted to various hospitals across the country.

“But it is worth noting that most of these deaths occurred in the villages or at home because of delay in seeking medical attention,” the Minister emphasised.

She said about Sh9 million had been spent to contain the disease, which has spread in 16 districts since its eruption in December last year.

“We have closed eating places that do not meet minimum standards. If a person contracts the disease they are advised to start home treatment immediately with oral rehydration solutions or locally prepared fluids like soup, fruit juices or water before the patient goes to a health facility,” Mrs Mugo advised.

She said anybody who experiences watery diarrhoea should seek immediate medical attention.

Rachuonyo, Kisumu East and Homa Bay districts – all in Nyanza province – have the highest number of confirmed cases at 34, 31 and 30 respectively.

Isiolo and Moyale in Eastern Province recorded the highest number of new cases in the last one week with 212 and 87 cases respectively.


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