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Cholera outbreak sparks public health concerns in Lamu as hotels closed

In the wake of a confirmed cholera outbreak, Lamu County’s Public Health Department has taken swift action by temporarily closing down all hotels and eateries pending a health assessment from the public health officers.

The move comes after 22 patients were hospitalized at King Fahd Hospital after exhibiting symptoms such as vomiting and stomach pains.

County Public Health Officer Mohammed Abubakar acknowledged the seriousness of the situation and assured the public that necessary measures have been implemented to contain the outbreak.

“We are working diligently to ensure that all hotels and eateries adhere to health and safety regulations to prevent the further spread of cholera,” stated Abubakar.

Dr. Mbarak Bahjaj, the County Executive Committee Member for Health, echoed Abubakar’s sentiments, giving an assurance that the county has successfully managed to mitigate the situation.

“We have encountered a few cases of diarrhea which we have effectively handled. Additionally, we addressed the need for water source treatment in the wells and provided assistance to the elderly.

Furthermore, we have devised a plan to monitor the situation after every five days until we stabilize the issue,” said Dr. Bahjaj.

The outbreak has dealt a blow to many hotels and eateries in the area, with the imminent Lamu Cultural Festival, now in its 21st edition, dealt a blow to the tourism and hospitality industry.

Owners and operators are counting their losses as they await the necessary clearances from the Lamu County Public Health Department to resume operations.

The Public Health Department is urging residents to remain vigilant and report to the nearest health facility if they experience cholera-like symptoms.

“Residents should seek medical treatment immediately if they start having diarrhea,” Dr. Bahjaj advised.

Dr. Bahjaj further emphasized the importance of personal hygiene in preventing the spread of cholera.

“We urge residents to observe good hygiene practices, including drinking clean, boiled water and washing hands after visiting toilets,” he said.

Mkomani War MCA Abbas Shehuna further called on the Lamu County Public Health Department to continue its efforts to contain the outbreak.

He stated that the goal for the county is to prioritize health and safety measures to prevent further cases and ensure a successful and safe Lamu Cultural Festival week.

By Amenya Ochieng

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