Kenya: Integrated Vector Borne Diseases Outbreak - DREF n° MDRKE050 - Operation update n° 1


Summary of revisions made to emergency plan of action:

This Operation Update is published to inform stakeholders of the delays experienced in delivering support to affected communities, due to late start of the Yellow Fever vaccination campaign, started late in the last week of July 2022. In addition, the late procurement of fumigation and spraying equipment which is yet to be finalized for delivery to the two target counties, is also delaying fumigation of breeding sites and the participation of KRCS branches in breeding site elimination and environmental cleaning.

Based on above, this Operation is being extended for one month at no cost, to allow KRCS complete support with social mobilization during the Yellow Fever campaign which will run for one month, as well as conduct breeding site elimination through fumigation and complete distribution of mosquito nets.

This one-month no-cost timeframe extension will help KRCS to finalize activities. This will lead operation to an overall 5 months’ timeframe (new end date: 31 August 2022).


Description of the disaster

Kenya has been affected by numerous health crises and natural disasters in the past two years. Currently, more than 4 million people are affected by drought. Coupled with the negative effects of COVID 19 on the economy, the situation is very dire among the poor and those in the hard-to-reach areas of the country (mostly in the arid and semi-arid areas) which, as a result, are the localities most affected by health crises. The recent emergence and re-emergence of viral infections transmitted by vectors in the country namely Chikungunya, Dengue, Yellow Fever (YF), and others is a cause for international concern. The first two months of the year 2022 recorded two outbreaks that are currently under national response: Yellow Fever and Chikungunya in Wajir and Isiolo.

Yellow Fever: The current outbreak was first reported in January 2022. Its confirmation took 3 weeks due to limited capacity in the remote areas affected and the fact that the region has not traditionally been affected by Yellow Fever in the past. The cases were first reported in Merti Sub County of Isiolo County.

According to the CDC latest update from 27th July 2022, there is a Yellow Fever outbreak in Kenya. Confirmed cases have been reported in residents of Isiolo and Garissa Counties. In Wajir county, the MoH indicated that there are cases yet to be confirmed as the specimen have been sent to Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) for tests. Between January-April 2022, 61 suspected cases related to Yellow Fever were reported, with 7 people succumbing to the disease and one death being confirmed. Out of the 61 suspected cases, 8 were confirmed with Cherab having 2 cases, Chari 2 cases, Kinna 1 case, Isiolo Central 2 cases and Gafarsa having 1 case. This therefore is an indication that more needs to be done with regards to community sensitization, vaccination, and prevention against Yellow Fever in the 3 counties as they border each other. As a response, the Ministry of Health is continuing with the national vaccination campaign with Wajir, Garissa, Isiolo and Mandera Counties as they are at risk of receiving travellers across their borders.

Chikungunya: At the beginning of the operation, Chikungunya outbreak was reported in Wajir County, Tarbaj sub county in Kutulo village with a total of forty-four (44) cases reported with two (2) confirmed cases.

At the time of this update, according to the Weekly Bulletin on Outbreaks and Other Emergencies by WHO-Africa Week 30: 18 to 24th July 2022 data as reported by: 17:00; 24th July 2022, Chikungunya outbreak has been reported in Wajir County, Tarbaj sub county in Kutulo village. A total of one hundred and eighty-nine (189) cases have been reported with five confirmed cases and one death (CFR 0.5%). Although no new cases were reported in week 25 (ending 26 June 2022), the MoH Wajir County has indicated that the situation is expected to worsen and preventive measures need to be scaled up to ensure that the virus, and exposure to mosquitoes is well managed. In addition to Yellow Fever, other vector-borne diseases including malaria and rift valley fever are expected to rise. To curb this, it is crucial that communities are well prepared by having extensive information on the diseases and possible ways to protect themselves from contracting the diseases as well as being vaccinated against them.

To summarize the outbreak situation, the current Yellow Fever and Chikungunya outbreaks are both vectors borne diseases for which emergency actions need to be scaled up in continued alignment with the MoH preventive response and vaccination for Yellow Fever.