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Mukumu Girls High School board disbanded, Principal Re-assigned duties

Mukumu Girls High School Board of Management has been disbanded and a new board has been constituted which will begin working from Monday.

The Ministry of Education has also deployed a new Principal to the Institution, Sister Jane Mmbone Amukoya as the former immediate principal Fridah Ndolo is re-assigned duties to the Regional Teachers Service Commissioner’s office in Kakamega.

Education Secretary Ezekiel Machogu, described the incident where three students and a teacher succumbed to mysterious disease as unfortunate absolving blame from both the Principal and the BOM noting that no one will be charged and no investigation will be undertaken against any.

“We don’t want to apportion blame. So, there is no investigation of any nature that is following the former administration, the Principal or the BOM. What happened is unfortunate,” he maintained.

Machogu said the principal has served well for the school but has to be re-assigned duties due to the prevailing circumstances and the outbreak of a disease that has caused uproar.

The CS was speaking in Kakamega after a visit to assess the situation at the school where he outlined measures the government is taking to enhance safety for the school to be reopened in two weeks’ time.

Among the measures include drilling of a new borehole which will be operational in two weeks’ time.

He also announced that the government will start treating water at Mukumu Girls and in the entire county with continuous testing to ensure it is safe from any bacterial infection.

The school has also received a donation of a Water Purifier Machine worth Sh6 million as CS Machogu says President Ruto has directed that Sh5 million be used for repairs to guarantee safe reopening.

The CS also said all the food items in the school’s store will be destroyed with the government procuring a new consignment for the students.

“We have given ourselves a time frame of two weeks in which case we shall be able to deal with all the issues then we shall reopen the school,” he noted.

Similarly, CS Machogu said the government will release Sh20 million in this financial year to Butere Boys High school for construction of Dormitories to ease congestion as the school is grappling with space.

The CS was accompanied by Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa who assured parents that the county government is collaborating with the National Government to restore sanity in the school.

“I want to assure you that our surveillance team will not allow the stocks of food from Mukumu here to be anywhere in the market,” he noted.

Kakamega Catholic Church Bishop Joseph Obanyi who was present said they are in agreement with all the efforts put in place promising to collaborate to offer support including counselling and spiritual nourishment to affected parents and students.

Dr Francis Kuria the head of the Directorate of Public Health at the Ministry of Health said that on March 31 this year, they received a request from Kakamega County Government to assist in investigating an outbreak of an unknown disease that struck Sacred Heart Mukumu Girls High School.

He said as a government they have assisted in management and analysing results from laboratories to prepare treatment guidelines that have been issued to the county and sub county hospitals.

The treatment guidelines were also sent to several counties since the school is of a national status that admits students from across the country.

He noted that the Government has set up a call center with dedicated teams to call all parents of every student from the school to monitor their health status while urging anybody presenting symptoms to report to county facilities for treatment.

He said that those who have reported to hospital have been managed noting that the treatment guidelines have been working well.

Dr Kuria said that half of the samples collected from patients including stool, swabbing of the rectal area and urine has revealed two bacteria that have consistently been present in all the samples.

He said the results of the samples revealed the presence of Escherichia Coli and Salmonella TyphiSalmonella Typhi causes typhoid while Escherichia coli is a normal flora in the gut.

He said they carried out tests and found out that water sources at Mukumu girls were contaminated, suspecting fecal contamination from the sewerage system into the water source.

He urged school administrations to ensure that water sources in the institutions are clean and certified by the Public health officers, that they are safe for consumption.

He also said the Ministry of Health is receiving another team from the World Health Organisation to continue with investigations beyond the school to the surrounding communities.

By Moses Wekesa

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