Kenya

Food hawking ban as cholera claims four lives

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In Summary

  • “A child was the first to die on Wednesday last week after showing cholera-like symptoms. Three other people also died while undergoing treatment at Nakuru General Hospital,” county Health executive Kabii Mungai said.

  • At a press conference, Dr Mungai said three people are in isolation wards and samples collected from them were sent to Nairobi for analysis on Monday.

By BERNARD OGEMBO

By GETRUDE NYAMBURA

Food hawking has been banned after four people died and several others were hospitalised following a cholera outbreak in Nakuru.

“A child was the first to die on Wednesday last week after showing cholera-like symptoms. Three other people also died while undergoing treatment at Nakuru General Hospital,” county Health executive Kabii Mungai said.

The doctor said officials have intensified a crackdown to enforce a total ban on the hawking of food and to enhance hygiene.

The hardest hit areas are Ponda-Mali and Bondeni estates that lack proper sewage and dirty water drainage systems.

At a press conference, Dr Mungai said three people are in isolation wards and samples collected from them were sent to Nairobi for analysis on Monday.

He, however, allayed fears of a crisis. Dr Mungai said there is no cause for alarm as health workers are vigilant. He said a team is working to ensure the disease is brought under control.

“County medical facilities are fully equipped and the staff well trained to handle cholera,” he said.
A task force has been formed by the county government to coordinate control of the disease.

SURVEILLANCE TEAM

It includes a surveillance committee headed by Dr Elizabeth Kiptoo, a case management committee led by Dr Ndushi Wainaina, and the Department of Health, Water, Food and Health Education headed by Mr Samuel King’ori.

Chief Officer of Health Samuel Mwaura said they would supply chlorine tablets to every household and asked residents to take precautions by maintaining health standards.

“I want to urge the public to wash their hands before handling food and to maintain clean toilets,” Dr Mwaura said.

A resident in Bondeni, Mr Peter Otieno, blamed poor drainage for the cholera outbreak.

Another resident, Mr Emmanuel Karee, urged the county government to hire unemployed young people to reconstruct the sewer system.