New cholera infections reported

Health officials in Embu County are on high alert after new cholera infections were reported in the area.

The County Director Health (CDH), Dr. Stephen Kaniaru said the newest case was reported on Tuesday in Kamurugu area, Mbeere South Sub-county.

This brings the number of cholera infections in the County from October 21, when the first case was reported to 47.

Three people, one from Kanduri area, Embu East and two from Mbeere South Sub-counties have since died of the disease, with Dr. Kaniaru saying they delayed before seeking treatment.

Two of the deaths and 27 of the infections were reported in October.

He said tests done to water samples that were taken from water sources and home taps and taken to the government chemist and Water Resource Management Authority (Warma) revealed that most of the water sources have been contaminated with faecal matter.

Cholera is still active in the County and since the beginning of the month, we have been receiving few cases here and there. From the tests, the likelihood cause of outbreak is water and not food, he said, during the marking of the World Toilet Day in Kanduri village, Embu East Sub- County.

He said cholera treatment centres are still operational at the Embu Level 5 Hospital and, Kiritiri, Gategi and Siakago health centres

The official raised concern over the high number of households that don’t have latrines, especially in Mbeere North Sub-county.

Statistics show that the county is ranked third in open defecation with the practice being prevalent in 1,186 villages in Mbeere North, which he said, could be one of the causes of the outbreak.

Already, through intervention by the County Health Department and the development arm of the Catholic Church (Caritas), 86 villages in the Sub-county have been able to change attitudes and have since dug latrines.

The project is set to be extended to other parts of the county, especially Muminji and Nthawa wards where open defecation is also common.

Source: Kenya News Agency