550 Infected, 13 Dead as Cholera Sweeps Through Northern Kenya

  • Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe addresses the media at Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020
    Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe addresses the media at Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020
    Simon Kiragu
    Kenyans.co.ke
  • Thirteen Kenyans have died from cholera with 550 confirmed as suffering from the disease by Health CS Mutahi Kagwe on Thursday, May 21.

    "We have lost 13 Kenyans to Cholera, 12 from Marsabit County and one in Turkana," he announced

    "70% of the deaths are of children aged 10 years and below," he added.

    Speaking at Afya House during the daily Covid-19 briefing, the CS assured Kenyans that the national government was working hard to curb the outbreak that has so far been registered in the 2 counties.

    A nurse attends to a cholera patient at a hospital in Kisumu in 2018
    A nurse attends to a cholera patient at a hospital in Kisumu in 2018
    File

    "We are exposed to disease because of the ongoing rains and floods," he elaborated.

    The CS detailed the spread of the disease from Garissa through Wajir, Turkana and Murang'a, before it was reported to have hit Marsabit.

    Of the 550 cases, 268 were recorded in Marsabit while the remaining 222 were currently undergoing treatment in Turkana.

    On April 30, 7 people died following an outbreak of the disease in North Horr, Marsabit County.

    The County Health Executive, Jama Wolde, revealed that two people died while undergoing emergency treatment, while the other five died in different villages adding that a child was among the casualties.

    “We can confirm that the illness that has killed seven people in Illeret Ward is cholera after carrying out rapid tests,” he stated at the time.

    Cholera is typically spread through infected water supplies and induces acute diarrhoea leading to severe dehydration, and often resulting in death.

    The risk of death is greatest among people with compromised immune systems, such as malnourished children or those living with HIV. However, even among healthy adults, cholera can be fatal within a matter of hours.

    The Sustainable Development Goals and Kenya's blueprint for development, Kenya Vision 2030, highlighted the access to sanitation facilities and clean water for all by 2030 as one of the high priority projects

    However, the country continues to be affected by cholera, a disease that is usually associated with low socio-economic status. 

    Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Addressing the media at a press briefing, May 2020.
    Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Addressing the media at a press briefing, May 2020.
    File