Cholera outbreak persists, high alert urged

Twenty-eight cholera deaths reported since January≤, 4,044 cases reported.

In Summary

•The outbreak is active in Garissa, Wajir and Mandera and Nairobi counties.

•Thirty-eight cases were reported in Wajir in the last week, one person died.


Health CS Sicily Kariuki
Health CS Sicily Kariuki

The Health ministry has called on all counties at high risk of cholera to be on alert and put preventive measures in place.

The Disease Outbreak Situation Report released by the ministry last week shows that4,044 cholera cases have been reported countrywide since January.

Twenty-eight people have died in that period.

The outbreak counties include Garissa, Mandera, Wajir, Mombasa, Turkana, Embu, and Makueni, Narok, Kajiado, Nairobi and Machakos.

Cholera is a potentially fatal but easily treatable bacterial disease usually spread through water contaminated by faeces. It causes severe diarrhoea and dehydration.

Left untreated, cholera can be fatal in a matter of hours, even in previously healthy people.

The report shows that four people have died in Kajiado, Narok and Machakos counties, seven in Nairobi, six in Wajir, two in Garissa and one in Mandera.

Thirty-eight cases were reported in Wajir in the last week; one person died.

The outbreak has been controlled in Narok, Embu, Machakos, Mombasa, Kajiado and Turkana counties.

The outbreak is active in Garissa, Wajir and Mandera and Nairobi counties, the report says.

Counties should put in place water quality surveillance, hygiene promotion, enforcement of  public health laws, advocacy and capac-sectoral.
Health ministry report

In Garissa county, the reported cases are from Hagadera and IFO refugee camp. In Wajir, the affected subounties include Wajir East, Wajir West and Tarbaj. Most cases are reported in Wajir East.

“Mandera county is reporting a second wave of the outbreak form Mandera West. A total of 42 cases with 4 confirmed have been reported,” the report states.

Makueni county has reported one confirmed case from Kaiti subcounty.

In Nairobi county, the cases are from Embakasi East (Tassia, Mukuru Reuben, Pipeline, Kayole North), Embakasi West (Umoja 1, Umoja 2, Donholm), Starehe, Ruaraka and Kibra subcounties.

“Counties should put in place measures including water quality surveillance, hygiene promotion, enforcement of the public health laws, advocacy and capacity building in multisectoral cholera control," the report reads.

The ministry has directed counties to swiftly carry out tests to confirm cholera.

Other measures include contact tracing and prophylaxis of the contacts, active case search and water quality surveillance and continued household water treatment.

The national government has supplied affected counties with water treatment chemicals, oral rehydration salts, antibiotics, intravenous fluids, water quality test kits, personal protective equipment and spray pumps.

“Cholera treatment centres have also been opened in the affected areas for timely treatment and to minimiSe further spread of the disease,” the ministry said.

County health teams are promoting education through health talks, distribution of materials and meetings with local hospitality business owners.

County health departments are doing contact tracing in households and workplaces, conducting continuous screening via rapid diagnostic test kits and providing chemoprophylaxis to the contacts.

Households with cholera cases are being disinfected.

(Edited by V. Graham)