Residents of Garissa County and its surroundings have been asked to maintain high levels of hygiene in a bid to combat cholera outbreak that has so far led to the death of four people.
According to Garissa County Health CEC Ahmed Omar, the first case was reported on October 23 at Hagadera refugee camp in Dadaab Sub County and spread out to host communities and other sub counties.
Speaking during an emergency meeting with officials and NGOs today in Garissa, Omar said that while the outbreak started in the refugee camps, cases have been reported in Garissa Township and Fafi sub counties.
The CEC further said that some areas of the neighbouring Tana River County have also been affected and promised to work with the officers from the county to stop the spread.
“As of today, we have recorded 372 cases and unfortunately we have reported four deaths. Majority of the cases are still within the refugee camps,” Omar said. “We are doing our best as a department and we call upon the people of Garissa to scale up their hygiene and help us in containing this outbreak,” he added.
He thanked the national government administrative officers and development partners who have come together to help in community sensitizations.
Garissa County Commissioner Boaz Cherutich on his part said that the government will form a well-coordinated team to help in managing the situation and prevent any further loss of life to the outbreak.
“We want to collaborate more with all partners and have a well-coordinated approach to this outbreak. We are also calling for more support because we need drugs, and extension officers who will lead the community sensitization campaigns,” Cherutich said.
“Most of the people in this area do not have toilets and so we are going to make it mandatory for every homestead to have a toilet. Public health officers and National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) officials have been urged to enforce this order,” he added.
By Erick Kyalo