At least 10 die in Kenya as cholera outbreak continues

June 11, 2015 6:08 am 

KISUMU, Kenya, June 10 — At least 10 people died of cholera and 134 others hospitalized in Kenya's western county of Homa Bay on Tuesday, as the outbreak of the disease continues in the East African nation.

County Director of Medical Services, Gerald Akeche, said the victims, among whom are women and children, have been admitted in local health facilities.

He cited poor latrine coverage and hawking cooked food in the region for the fresh upsurge of the disease.

"Majority of the residents in rural parts of Kenya have ignored basic health education like treatment of water before drinking and washing hands after visiting toilets," Akeche said.

Last month, cholera killed 72 people and hospitalized 3,223 across the country, according to the health ministry.

A total of 11 counties were affected by the outbreak including Nairobi, Nakuru, Migori, Homa Bay and Mombasa. Nakuru and Nairobi were the worst affected, with 16 deaths each.

The National Treasury released USD 5.2 million last month to fight the cholera outbreak following President Uhuru Kenyatta's directive to come up with strategies against the disease.

Health Principal Secretary, Khadijah Kassachoon, said in an earlier interview that the ministry was making efforts to stop further spread of the disease and the money would be spent on buying medical supplies, providing clean water, creating public awareness and building the counties' capacity to fight the disease.

Medical Director, Nicholas Muraguri, said the ministry has already distributed medical supplies in the counties to contain the disease.

He revealed that most of the affected areas have only one pit latrine that usually serve a population of over 3,000 people, with a majority of the residents resorting to open defecation.

"We are living in poor health condition as human waste is scattered all over the beach due to lack of latrines, the government should intervene urgently to prevent the death toll," he said. (PNA/Xinhua)

JBP/EBP

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