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Cholera outbreak surveillance team unveiled in Voi

Public  Health  department in Voi sub-county  has unveiled a multi-agency team to monitor and respond to cholera outbreaks  in  the region.

The  team  brings  together officials from Disease  Surveillance Team, medics, prison officers, traders, hoteliers and senior prison officials amongst others members.

Speaking  during  a  meeting on Monday, John  Kishaga, Voi  disease surveillance official, said the team would monitor cholera  outbreak and deploy rapid remedial measures to counter its spread.

He  pointed  out  that Voi town was a risk  zone because of its strategic location along Nairobi-Mombasa Highway and its  vibrant businesses that made it a favourite stop-over for passengers using the highway.

“This  team is to enhance our preparedness as a region to tackle cholera should such cases be reported anywhere in this region,” he said.

The move to form the team comes in the wake reports of cholera cases in Nairobi.

In  March, Nairobi County issued cholera warning after over 50 people contacted the disease.

Last  week, Mombasa County shut down four health facilities fearing flooding and eruption of water-borne diseases.

There are fears of cholera outbreak following continuous heavy rainfall in several parts of the country.

The  hoteliers  were ordered to ensure the drainage systems around their facilities were working properly to avoid closures of their business.

Wilson  Wangusha, official from market hotels, said majority of hotel owners had complied with required safety standards.

He  added awareness has been created on reporting channels should any emergency arise.

“We have taken care of the drainages as we maintain cleanliness. Our facilities are safe,” he said.

Martin  Kibiricho, the chair for highway traders, said selling and buying food along the highway was also at risk as most  buyers were on transit to other places.

The  prisons  were also cited to be at risk from prisoners’ transfers programme where inmates from other facilities were  brought to the region.

Kishaga requested the prison administration to screen such inmates to avoid importing diseases and triggering crisis in  such facilities. Other areas where the team would focus on include schools and churches.

He  hoped the team would help in establishing a well-coordinated approach to cholera emergencies including providing  timely reports on suspicious disease cases.

To improve hygiene at household level, over 9,000 tablets to purify water would be distributed to hundreds of homesteads  in the area.

By  Wagema  Mwangi

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