Cholera has killed 11 since January — Kariuki

Reported in six counties, contained in Narok

In Summary

• Out of 1,866 cases reported, 91 were confirmed. 

• Scarcity of safe water and poor sanitation propagated the outbreak in isolated high-risk areas. 

Health CS Sicily Kariuki before the National Assembly Health Committee on May 7.
HIGHLY INFECTIOUS: Health CS Sicily Kariuki before the National Assembly Health Committee on May 7.

Eleven cholera deaths have been recorded since January, the Health ministry has said.

A total of 1,866 cases have been reported, 91 of which were confirmed. 

Health CS Sicily Kariuki on Tuesday said since January, cholera outbreaks have been reported in Narok, Kajiado, Nairobi, Garissa, Machakos and Mandera counties.


The outbreak has, however, been successfully contained in Narok, she told the National Assembly Health committee. 

“A few isolated new cases are being reported in the remaining five counties. However, there have been no reported cholera cases in Murang’a,” Kariuki said.

Ministry statistics show out of 181 cases reported in Narok, seven were confirmed and four deaths recorded.

In Kajiado, 648 cases were reported, 14 confirmed and one death recorded.

Nairobi had 549 cases out of which 44 were confirmed and one death recorded. Machakos and Mandera counties had 271 and 174 cases. Four deaths were recorded in Machakos and one in Mandera.

Thirteen and three cases were confirmed in the counties. No death was recorded in Garissa, where 43 cases were recorded and 10 confirmed.


“Scarcity of safe clean water and poor sanitation and hygiene practices propagated the outbreak in isolated high-risk areas,” Kariuki said.

Acting director general John Wekesa said Nairobi Hospital was not to blame for the cholera outbreak at the facility last month, as it gets food from three outside catering companies.

Kariuki said cholera is a highly infectious disease, which compelled the ministry to put in place several measures to contain the situation.

It has supplied hospital beds, water treatment chemicals, oral rehydration salts, antibiotics, IV fluids, water quality test kits, personal and spray pumps to the affected counties.

“The counties with active transmission have set up cholera treatment centres to support timely treatment and minimise further spread,” Kariuki said.

Nairobi county, for instance, has set up centres at Riruta Health Centre, Mbagathi, Kenyatta and Mama Lucy hospitals.

The disease, which is spread by ingesting faecal matter, causes acute watery diarrhoea and can kill within hours if not treated.

At least four people died and dozens more were treated when another outbreak hit the city in 2017, causing authorities to shut down some restaurants.

The ministry, in collaboration with county health departments, is conducting contact tracing in households and workplaces, continuous line listing of cases and screening using rapid diagnostic test kits to curtail the outbreak.

(Edited by R.Wamochie)