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DISEASE CAUSED BY SAND FLIES

Kal Azaar patients in Mwingi ask state to help foot hospital bills

More than 23 were admitted with disease, most 'suffering but are too poor' they stay home.

In Summary

• Apart from the 14 patients at Garissa Referral Hospital, more than 23 are in Mwingi.

• Patient pleads with government to step in and help foot their bills to cushion them, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kal Azaar patients at Mwingi Level 4 Hospital.
KAL AZAAR OUTBREAK: Kal Azaar patients at Mwingi Level 4 Hospital.
Image: LINAH MUSANGI

More than 23 patients are admitted at Mwingi Level 4 Hospital after being diagnosed with Kal Azaar, Medical superintendent Evans Mumo confirmed. 

The tropical disease is caused by sand flies which live in anthills and are common in areas with camels.

Most affected locals are from wards bordering Tana River county including, Ngomeni, Tseikuru and Kyuso with history of herding camels.  

Apart from the 14 patients at Garissa Referral Hospital, over 23 are in Mwingi.

Daniel Kimanzi, a patient from Tseikuru started experiencing body weakness, exhaustion, fever and could not walk a short distance among other symptoms last year in September.

The disease was discovered a few days ago after he underwent several tests in Mwingi.

However, he said most people back in the villages, especially those along the Tana River-Kitui border are suffering from the disease but poverty levels have forced them to stay home.

“Many people are suffering but do not have the money to make it to the hospital,” Kimanzi said.

Kimanzi pleaded with the government, through the Health ministry, to visit the affected areas and come up with a solution.

“Several have succumbed to Kal Azaar and request the government, both the national and county, to intervene and rescue Mwingi North residents from this outbreak,” Kimanzi said.  

Mutuku Manzi from Ngomeni ward started battling the illness last year in October.

He visited neighboring dispensaries but his condition did not improve.

He then visited Mwingi Level 4 Hospital for treatment and was admitted at the facility a few days ago.

“I urge the government to recue us from this disease by lowering laboratory charges and cost of medicine,” Maanzi urged.

He also decried that he comes from a very poor family and would not be able to foot the bill.

“Once I am discharged, I might not be able to go home for I am not sure where the money to foot the bill will come from,” he added.

Kimanzi now wants the government to set aside some amount to be able to counter Kal Azaar.

Mutooni Mulatya from Tseikuru developed signs of the disease last year in November.

He experienced a lot of heat within his body, other times too much cold and exhaustion among other signs.

When he visited nearby local dispensaries, they only gave him pain relievers. When he became worse he went to Mwingi Level 4 hospital and was admitted 10 days ago.

However, he pleaded with the government to step in and help foot their bills to cushion them especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Some parents have more than one child admitted in the hospital diagnosed with the disease, I urge the government to step in and help us,” he pleaded.

Elizabeth Mwanziu, from Tseikuru in Kyuso subcounty said the disease has drained their finances.

“I have a child admitted at Mwingi and a few weeks ago I had another at Kenyatta National Hospital. I have no money on me so I urge the government to intervene,” Mwanziu said.

She asked Kenyans to pray for those infected.

“We are almost desperate and are losing our children to this disease, please remember us in your prayers,” she pleaded.

Edited by R.Wamochie

Kal azaar patients at Mwingi level 4 hospital
KAL AZAAR OUTBREAK Kal azaar patients at Mwingi level 4 hospital
Image: LINAH MUSANGI
one of the symptom of the disease is a swollen stomach
KAL AZAAR OUTBREAK one of the symptom of the disease is a swollen stomach
Image: LINAH MUSANGI
Mwingi level 4 male ward where Kal azaar patients are admitted
KAL AZAAR OUTBREAK Mwingi level 4 male ward where Kal azaar patients are admitted
Image: LINAH MUSANGI
A kal azaar patient at Mwingi level 4 hospital
KAL AZAAR OUTBREAK A kal azaar patient at Mwingi level 4 hospital
Image: LINAH MUSANGI
THe disease does not only affect children, even grown ups have contracted the disease
KAL AZAAR OUTBREAK THe disease does not only affect children, even grown ups have contracted the disease
Image: LINAH MUSANGI
Kal azaar patients at Mwingi level 4 hospital
KAL AZAAR PATIENTS Kal azaar patients at Mwingi level 4 hospital
Image: LINAH MUSANGI
Most affected locals are those living along Kitui-Tana River border
KAL AZAAR OUTBREAK Most affected locals are those living along Kitui-Tana River border
Image: LINAH MUSANGI