Residents of Murang’a County have been cautioned against taking untreated water to avoid contracting water borne diseases.
The caution comes in the wake of several cholera cases have been reported in neighbouring counties including Nairobi and Nyeri.
A County Public Officer in charge of disease surveillance Mr. Chris Mwangi has said that some parts of the county were at risk of experiencing cholera outbreak.
Mwangi although allayed fears on the disease saying measures have been put in place to contain any case of cholera in the county.
Speaking to KNA in his office on Tuesday, he said in every sub county, water treatment chemicals had been stocked calling upon residents to access and use the chemicals appropriately.
With the persisting drought, Mwangi observed that many of residents were fetching water for domestic use from unhygienic water sources.
“Some of the rivers in the county had dried up forcing people to source water from ponds and wells which are not hygienic and that’s why we are advising residents to boil or treat water before drinking,” he added.
Last year, the county reported several cases of cholera in parts of Kabati and Kandara where some lives were lost and scores of residents put under medication.
Mwangi further noted that measures have been put to ensure meat brought to the county is well inspected.
He stated that 90 percent of meat consumed in the county is brought from Nairobi County where some cases of cholera have been reported.
“We have deployed public health officers to ensure meat being brought from other counties is well inspected to prevent our residents from contracting cholera. Also frequent checkups are being done at all eatery areas,” he added.
The medic said they are alert to treat any patient with cholera like symptom with urgency saying they are also training residents on how to avoid the disease.
“Our officers are also doing public barazas to educate residents on ways to prevent outbreak of cholera and also steps to take to give first aid to any patients with cholera-like symptoms,” remarked Mwangi.
He added that management of cholera is simple since one needs to hydrate the patient before rushing the patient to nearest health centre.
Mwangi assured the residents that, in all Murang’a pharmacies Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS) and lingers lactate-rehydration through intravenous which could orally be taken were available.
In addition, Murang’a health centres laboratories are equipped with necessary reagents which could be used to treat the disease.
He further observed that food hawking has remained a challenge in preventing outbreak of cholera saying some hawkers operated from unhygienic environment.
“Hawkers cannot maintain the required cleanliness standards to prevent spread of diseases, since they do not have enough water to clean the utensils which they use hence spread of the diseases like cholera, typhoid among others,” Mwangi stated.
By Bernard Munyao and Hilda Wambui