TESTS RETURN POSITIVE RESULTS

Cholera cases confirmed in Wajir

10 people have been admitted to the Tarbaj Subcounty Hospital

In Summary

• Some of the measures the county has put in place include distribution of water treatment chemicals

• Outbreaks have become common in the county and in most cases lead to loss of lives

Wajir Public Health and Sanitation chief officer Abdullahi Hassan and other health officials disinfect themselves after visiting patients at Tarbaj Subcounty Hospital on Wednesday last week
Wajir Public Health and Sanitation chief officer Abdullahi Hassan and other health officials disinfect themselves after visiting patients at Tarbaj Subcounty Hospital on Wednesday last week
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

A cholera outbreak has caused a scare in Tarbaj, Wajir county, and residents have been urged to maintain high levels of hygiene.

Ten residents were admitted to Tarbaj Subcounty Hospital and tests carried out on them returned positive results for cholera. On Sunday, the Public Health and Sanitation department, through Chief officer Abdullahi Hassan, confirmed the figures.

The outbreak was first reported last Tuesday in Harmajalla, Qurac Sumathale and Abdi Qacaney settlements on the outskirts of Tarbaj.

On Wednesday, Abdullahi led a team from the Health department to assess the situation. He also handed over essential medical equipment and supplies.

As part of efforts to contain the disease, the county has been distributing water treatment chemicals such as aqua-tabs and chlorine, setting up CTC to quarantine patients, providing standby ambulances and increasing the number of caregivers at the hospital.

Residents have been urged to take preventive measures, including treating water, washing and cooking food properly and washing their hands regularly. 

“As a county, we are on top of things. We have moved in to contain the situation. Our only appeal is that residents cooperate and follow the advice given. We don’t have any cases of death as of now,” Abdullahi said.

The county has been prone to cholera outbreaks, especially when it rains. Most residents use buckets to dispose of their faecal waste. Many of them lack toilets. This has been blamed for water contamination. In the previous instances, the disease claimed lives. 

In March 2016, five people died in Sarif village, Wajir South. In May this year, one person died in Wajir East. The Health department subsequently ordered the closure of all shanties and temporary structures that were used as eateries. 

(Edited by F'Orieny)