, NAIROBI, Kenya July 17 – The Ministry of Health has cancelled all medical certificates for food handlers and directed County Health Departments to review the applicants following the outbreak of Cholera which has left three people dead and dozens hospitalised.
Director of Medical Services Dr Jackson Kioko has also banned all unlicensed food premises until they meet the required standards as part of measures of curbing the escalating epidemic that is often blamed on poor hygiene in food preparation.
“Due to the increasing incidences of food borne and cholera in different towns and cities in the country, we have cancelled all food handlers medical certificates and we have banned outsourcing of food by hotels and other meeting venues from unlicensed or uninspected premises,” Dr Kioko tweeted on Monday.
Public and private health facilities, particularly in Nairobi, are stretched with Cholera patients after dozens sought treatment after attending a conference at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre last week—including Cabinet Secretaries Adan Mohamed of Trade and Industrialization as well as Henry Rotich of Treasury.
Several doctors were among several people hospitalised after contracting Cholera during a conference at the Weston Hotel in Nairobi.
The County Government of Nairobi has also banned the distribution of water by unlicensed water tanks which are also blamed for the spread of the epidemic.
“All hotels ,food eating places should carry out urgent medical examinations to all food handlers within twenty one years, we have also banned hawking of food within town forthwith and ensure strict enforcement of this directive, in accordance to the Public Act Cap,” the Health Ministry Statement on Twitter stated.
Individuals or organizations wishing to outsource food for any function have been directed to notify the relevant County Public Health Department fourteen days in advance to allow relevant inspections and approvals.
The Ministry has also directed County Health Departments to identify Cholera Treatment Centers (CTS) so as to contain the epidemic.
“Health Officials will be making random spot checks to ensure that there is compliance to this directive we therefore urge the public that any person presenting with vomiting and diarrhea should consult the nearest Health Facility as soon as possible for check up,” Dr Kioko said, and urged members of the public to practice ‘personal hygiene’.
Senator Mike Sonko who, is seeking to unseat Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero during the August 8 General Election, is also capitalizing on the issue, saying his opponent has failed.
“The County Government of Nairobi is to blame for the Cholera infections in Nairobi.” Said Sonko.