75 people have lost their lives this year alone after being infected with cholera with about 5,000 cases being reported, the ministry of health has confirmed. However, ministry’s report further lament that the outbreaks continue to erupt in new counties due to continued existence of risk factors.
According to the ministry of health, 279 cholera cases are laboratory confirmed and 19 counties have so far been affected namely:
Mombasa, Garissa, Siaya, Tharaka Nithi, Meru, Kirinyaga, Busia, Tana River, Turkana, Murang’a, Trans-Nzoia, West Pokot, Nairobi, Nakuru, Isiolo, Machakos, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kiambu and Kilifi counties.
Meanwhile, 78 people in Madogo, Tana River County are currently admitted at an area health facility after testing positive to cholera. According to reports, tests conducted on the victims culture samples tested positive for the disease.
And for a disease that is caused by lack of clean and safe drinking water which is a main challenge for residents here, majority who are forced to dig shallow wells from dry river beds which wild animals also drink from during the night, the problem may persist if not well contained.
Meanwhile, the ministry of health has pledges to continually monitor and cordinate response efforts to control cholera outbreak.
Since the beginning of 2017, Kenya is experiencing an upsurge of cholera cases.
The first cholera outbreak reported in 2017 was in Tana River County. The outbreak started on 10 October 2016 and was controlled by April 2017.
A second wave of cholera outbreaks started in Garissa County in April last and was reported later in nine other counties.
The main causative factors of the current outbreak include the high population density that is conducive to the propagation and spread of the disease, mass gatherings, low access to safe water and proper sanitation and the massive population movements in country and with neighbouring countries.
About one in 20 people infected have severe watery diarrhea accompanied by vomiting, which can quickly lead to dehydration.
The ministry of health has also reported outbreak of Polio Measles Chikungunya and Rift valley fever in some counties.