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Kajiado on high alert over cholera outbreak

Kajiado County is on high alert following an outbreak of cholera in the country.

County Executive Member for Health Alex Kilowua said surveillance in the county has been tightened and they were on high alert to respond to outbreaks.

Speaking in Kajiado Tuesday, Kilowua revealed that Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programmes in all health facilities in the county have been strengthened to ensure the cholera outbreak is contained.

“We have tightened our surveillance through the County Disease Surveillance unit and tightened the provision of WASH in all our health facilities so as to contain the outbreak,” he said.

The Ministry of Health on October 19 issued a cholera outbreak alert after 61 cases were confirmed in six counties namely Kiambu (31), Nairobi (17), Murang’a (1), Kajiado (2), Nakuru (2) and Uasin Gishu (8).

According to acting Director General for health Dr. Patrick Amoth, the cholera outbreak was traced to a wedding party in Kiambu County.

Of the 61 cases reported, 13 people are currently hospitalized while eight have been discharged with 40 treated as outpatients.

Dr. Amoth warned that the ongoing drought situation in the country may worsen the outbreak.

“Noteworthy, the ongoing drought situation in the country may worsen the outbreak. It is therefore the ministry’s decision to put all counties on high alert for possible cholera outbreaks,” he said.

To manage the outbreak, Amoth said all county and sub-county health management teams have been directed to watch out for patients with watery diarrhoea symptoms and conduct active search for acute watery diarrhoea in health facilities and within the communities for missed and unreported cases.

The team is also expected to strengthen surveillance activities up to the village level and ensure 100 per cent case-based reporting, strengthen the involvement of laboratory personnel in disease surveillance for timely confirmation as well as ensure that all health workers are conversant with the case definition and are sensitized on potential Cholera outbreak.

Other measures include developing an appropriate preparedness and response plan for sub-counties to prevent propagation of any potential outbreak and plan for sustained contact tracing, ensuring isolation of cholera cases if admitted in the wards as well as strengthening community sensitization on safe water practices, use of latrines and prompt treatment for diarrhoea cases.

By Rop Janet

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