Cholera killed 50 in Kenya last week

November 29, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 29 – The government has said that about 50 people have died of cholera in the past week, while 110 cases have been confirmed in the country.

Public Health and Sanitation Minister Beth Mugo attributed this to lack of water, ineffective sanitation systems, poverty and ignorance among other issues.

“We can never control cholera until we all decide we will live in a hygienic manner because when they go anyhow to the bush it is washed to the rivers or to the wells and this is water they are the going to drink without boiling,” she told a news conference held at her Afya House offices on Sunday.

“So no medical intervention will bring down cholera or eliminate it until we all decide we are going to live hygienically.”

At the same time she said 190 cases had been confirmed in the last month and 119 deaths, mainly in East Pokot, where 17 people lost their lives in the past two weeks.

The minister however, said that they were carrying out tests on the deaths in East Pokot after it emerged that only two people died in a hospital facility following a cattle rustling raid which left several people injured.

The ministry has in the meantime dispatched more medical personnel to assist in containing the disease in the vast East Pokot district.

She said the ministry needs Sh553 million to reinforce its intervention mechanisms.

“It is divided into areas which we must respond to such as surveillance and nutrition; because most of the children in those areas are affected. We also need chlorine to disinfect the water,” she said.

She called for joint efforts by the MPs and Medical officers in the affected areas to deliberate on the outbreak and advise residents to observe hygiene.

In the past one month, the Minister said the country has had cases reported in Chalbi in Marsabit district, Lamu, and various districts in Nairobi including the Kasarani region, which is host to the Kamiti Maximum Prison, where nine prisoners died from the disease two weeks ago.

Turkana Central had the highest number of confirmed cases with 31 people out of 86 admitted with acute watery diarrhea, while Kasarani constituency had 28 cases, most arising from the outbreak reported at the maximum prison.


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