Kenya: Four Killed As Cholera Outbreak Hits Wajir

By Abdimalik Hajir

Five people have been confirmed dead in Sarif, Wajir South constituency, following a cholera outbreak in Wajir County.

Medical and health officials at local hospitals and Cholera Treatment Centres (CTC) that have been set up are overwhelmed by the large number of patients seeking medical attention after showing signs of the deadly disease.

There is fear that the disease could spread even faster due to the rising number of patients and overcrowding at treatment centres.

Area Member of Parliament Abdullahi Diriye has appealed to the national government to assist the county government in containing the further spread of the disease.

“When I was at Sarif earlier this week, medics assured me they are up to the task to contain the outbreak and that they have enough supplies from the county but despite this assurance, there are increased new cases in the past 24 hours,” Mr Diriye said by phone on Monday.

However, the Wajir County Epidemiologist Adam Haji said the situation was under control, insisting there was no cause for alarm as the county had set up CTCs at the most affected area.

He said cholera started in Wajir in July last year, when about 2,000 people in the county were treated, 400 of them from Wajir South and 205 cases reported in Sarif alone.

Dr Haji said 45 people had so far died in Wajir County, including the latest four — two at a temporary CTC while the other two died at the Dagahley refugee camp.

He said in the past week, officials had made two visits to Sarif to make quick assessment, mobilized resources to the ground and increased the number of staff. Now there are four nurses, up from two that had been earlier deployed.

“The number of cases reported is increasing but we are up to task. We are responding appropriately and we have already fenced off the Cholera Treatment Centres so as to contain the spreading of the disease,” he added.

Mr Diriye advised locals to limit their visits to check on their relatives already diagnosed with the disease so as to minimize chances of being infected.

The county’s chief officer for public health and sanitation, Abdullahi Hassan Maalim, said the health management team had set up camps to help in monitoring the situation.

“We would like to tell our people that there is no cause for alarm as the situation is being brought under control. Moving from 44 patients in the Cholera Treatment Centres on Saturday to 18 patients now, I think we are doing all in our means to contain the situation,” he said.

Source: All Africa