School, mines in Migori closed over cholera outbreak

By: ELISHA OTIENO

A primary school in Migori County has been closed indefinitely over cholera outbreak.

The county government said goldmines in Nyatike were also being closed as the disease spreads in the county.

Philgona Upandia Primary School in Nyarongi, Suna East sub-county was shut on Friday evening by the management after eight pupils started vomiting and passing loose stools.

They were admitted at Bimos dispensary where health workers confirmed the infection to be cholera.

“We have therefore decided to send all our 350 learners home to avert spread of the disease. Teachers have also taken a break,” said the headteacher Mr Gervas Ogutta.

“This is a decision we have taken after consultations with the Parents Teachers Association and other stakeholders,” added Mr Ogutta.

Health workers later visited the school to asses the situation.

Cholera has killed four people in Migori County in the past five days. Several people are being treated in various hospitals.

At least 27 people have died of cholera in the county since January.

Migori County Health Director Joel Gondi said water treatment chemicals were being distributed by his workers free of charge.

Dr Gondi asked the residents to seek treatment immediately they develop symptoms as “cholera kills within hours”.

The disease has spread to Suna East and Kuria West sub-counties.

County Commissioner Ann Ngetich said gold mines were being closed in Nyatike where the disease over the outbreak.

The outbreak started in Rongo, Nyatike and Suna West.

Most open air markets in the affected areas have been closed but a shortage of clean water is hampering efforts to fight the disease.

There are fears the disease might spread to Homa Bay, Isiolo and Kisumu counties.

In Kisumu, health workers are distributing water treatment chemicals.

Health executive Elizabeth Ogaja said one person died and 30 others were admitted to hospitals last week.

In Homa Bay, eight people are being treated for the disease.

Cholera symptoms range from mild to severe vomiting and muscle cramps and it kills within two to four hours.

The classic symptom is large amounts of watery diarrhoea that lasts a few days.