Kenya

Five children die of malaria in Kakamega, 100 more admitted

Five more children died at the Kakamega County Referral Hospital on Thursday night following a malaria outbreak in the region.

This brings to a total of 12, the number of children who have died at the hospital in the past week since the outbreak. Already, nearly 100 people have been admitted to the hospital.

The children were receiving treatment following an outbreak of malaria, which had earlier killed seven children.

Hospital records seen by Nation on Friday indicate the children, all of them girls, were aged five, five-and-a-half, seven, and a one-year old, with the youngest being six months old.

The new deaths come even as the hospital authorities, led by Medical Superintendent Augustine Ajevi, told the Nation they were experiencing a blood shortage, thus complicating the fight.

The five were admitted in Ward 5A, which is currently crammed with children brought in suffering from malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea.

But efforts to contain the malaria outbreak have been complicated by lack of screening equipment at the hospital.

PREPARING A REPORT

Speaking on Friday, Dr Ajevi declined to comment on the deaths, only saying they were still preparing a report.

“We do not want to dwell on the issue of mortalities at the moment since this is confidential information related to our patients,” he said.

He said facilities at the referral hospital were overstretched due to the large number of admissions from the different parts of the county.

Dr Ajevi said April to July was the peak period for malaria outbreak in the county and a campaign had been launched to promote preventive measures by encouraging use of treated nets.

County Health executive Peninah Mukabane said they were working on plans to roll out distribution of one million mosquito nets to families.

She said a net would be issued for use by two people in each family.