At least 4 people from Ngomeni and Tseikuru wards in Mwingi North sub county of Kitui County have died following an outbreak of Kal Azaar disease in the area.
Speaking to press today at the Garissa referral hospital where his 5-year-old daughter is admitted Peter Muthengi said a mother and her child died in Ngomeni last week while two children succumbed to the disease while receiving treatment in Garissa.
According to Abdullahi Abdi, the nursing officer in charge of Garissa referral hospital pediatric ward, a total of 13 people are admitted at Garissa County Referral Hospital, 11 of them are children below 10 all of them diagnosed with Kal Azaar, a disease caused by sand flies.
The flies are said to come from the camels and when they bite a human being they develop symptoms of a swollen stomach.
Muthengi said it is a shame for Kitui residents to seek medications in Garissa while Kitui has 14 level 4 hospitals and over 38 public hospitals.
“I have been to 3 hospitals. I was first referred to Isiolo hospital from Tseikuru but we were chased away from isiolo at night over claims that there was an outbreak of Covid-19 in Kitui county. I went to Mwingi sub-county hospital but I was told they don’t treat Kal Azaar and referred again to Garissa,” Muthengi said
“Back at home there are several children with the same problem but their parents cannot afford to bring them here for treatment. There is a looming problem in the two wards and I am appealing to the government to urgently send medics there to save lives,” he added.
He said treatment of the disease is quite expensive and if the government does not intervene then more lives could be lost because most of those suffering from the disease that is curable cannot afford the drugs.
On her part Peris Joseph who is attending to her 21-years-old son at the facility also expressed disappointment that Kitui county lacks the drugs to treat the disease.
“Treating this disease is out of reach for many ordinary Kenyans. I am urging the Kitui county government to buy drugs and send health workers to the affected wards to treat the sick before more lives are lost,” Peris said.
“It’s a shame for residents of Kitui to travel all the way to Garissa to receive treatment while the two counties receive similar health allocations from the national government,” she added.
Abdullahi confirmed that all the patients are responding well to treatment.
Abdullahi said that the parents to the 10 children were tested and 2 of them tested positive to the disease
The medic said the patients will remain at the facility for another 28 days before they are discharged.
By Jacob Songok