Vets warn over Swine Flu

May 9, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 9 – The Kenya Veterinary Association (KVA) has raised serious concerns over Kenya’s capability and preparedness to deal with the swine flu outbreak.

KVA Chairlady Dr Elizabeth Ouko said the country would be overwhelmed by the outbreak should it spread to the country.

“In this country the control of pigs rearing is a serious danger, the refuse from aircrafts is disposed at Dandora without treatment and there you find pigs and human beings feeding on the refuse,” she said.

Mrs Ouko said City by laws that prohibit rearing of animals within the city had not been observed.

She said; ‘A lot of pigs are illegally reared in Nairobi making it difficult to observe the occurrence of the disease should it spread here."

The Doctor further said the scope of the disease had not been sufficiently handled since the flu has been found to be transmitted from pigs to humans or vice versa.

“The current scare is a mixture of the three influenzas, the pigs, the avian and the human, and it is a new variant that has not been seen before,” she said.

Mrs Ouko said findings that the current flu was being passed from human to human called for greater caution of personal hygiene and alertness of symptoms associated with flu.

KVA Senior vice Chairman Dr Christopher Wanga blamed the government for its failure to coordinate human and animal health experts to handle the disease and the swine flu.

“Human and veterinary doctors need to work closely to manage diseases that cross species,” he said.

Dr Wanga cited a case where about 15 people died of a mysterious disease in Bungoma District a week ago.

He said he was unsatisfied with the diagnosis that had been given by the Ministry of Public Health.

“These people were dying at a go, after vomiting and nose bleeding, as a Vet, I would widen the scope from cholera and go for anthrax, probably they ate meat from a sick animal,” he said.

Dr Wanga asked for adequate budgetary allocation to counter emergency diseases.

"We must ensure the country is in a position to stop the spread of such diseases and also attend immediately to those affected," he said.



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