Assembly dispute report on Malaria outbreak in East Pokot

Members of Baringo County Assembly on Thursday disputed a report by Health Service Committee concerning the outbreak of malaria which has led to deaths in parts of East Pokot Sub-County.

In a statement tabled by Tirioko Ward MCA, Sam Lourien, they asked the Health Committee through the Health Chairperson, Richard Rono if it was aware that the outbreak had so far claimed 15 lives and not seven as indicated in the report.

Lourien, whose Ward was much affected said the County’s Health Department was misleading the House by giving untrue information of what is happening on the ground.

The Tirioko MCA claimed that the County Executive Committee (CEC) in-Charge of Health, Andrew Kwonyike had failed to discharge his duties.

I urged the House to call upon the CEC to personally come to the floor of the House and give a detailed and comprehensive report without sending other health officers to represent him, said Lourien.

He noted that the County medical team took long to act, a move they noted would have prevented the disease from spreading and claiming many lives.

Kolowa Ward MCA ,Solomon Makal, who also rose on a point of order, claimed that three more people had died in his Ward raising the number of deaths to 18 so far.

Makal urged the County Government, donors and other well-wishers to visit the Ward and offer treatment with immediate effect.

The Kolowa MCA asked the Committee on Health Services to visit the affected areas to establish the truth and see for themselves the impact caused by the upsurge to the local residents.

In the report, The Health Services Committee Chair had indicated that only seven people had died so far following the outbreak that had struck areas that include as Akoret, Kapau, Kongor, Rottu, Kulal, Lokis, Korelach, Chesetim and Ngaina in Tirioko and Kolowa Wards.

Rono said nets and vaccines had been dispatched to malaria prone zones such as Maregut in Barwessa Ward in neighbouring Baringo North Sub-County to contain the situation.

The Barwessa Ward representative lauded the County Government for responding swiftly, sending ambulances to the affected areas.

Rono told the House that a blood bank at Chemolingot Sub-County Hospital had run out due increased number of patients in need of blood transfusion.

However, the Health Committee Chair assured the Assembly that the Department of Health would do everything within its means to contain the upsurge reiterating that they were not ready to lose even a single life.

The Deputy Speaker, Ameja Zelemoi, who was chairing the Session, ordered the Health Committee to immediately visit the affected Wards for a fact finding mission and submit a comprehensive report to the Assembly on Tuesday afternoon next week.

Zelemoi also said the CEC Health should come to the Assembly in person to give a report on the outbreak of the malaria on Tuesday without fail.

Source: Kenya News Agency