World Health Organization (WHO)has listed Makueni among 30 counties in the country where an evaluation mission to certify Kenya as Guinea Worm disease free will be carried out starting next Monday.
Area Public Health Officer Henry Kivuva said the International Guinea Worm Disease Certification team will visit Makueni County Referral hospital, Kitise, Sultan Hamud and Mbukuni health facilities to determine if the county has met the WHO requirements for Kenya to be declaredGuinea worm free.
Speaking to KNA Thursday in his office, Kivuvasaid the level of public awareness of the disease should be at least 50 percentfor the WHO certification and expressed confidence that Makueni will meet therequired conditions.
“The public should be awareof how the worm is transmitted and there is a cash reward of Sh100, 000 foranyone who identifies and reports the disease,” he said.
Meanwhile, the county hasintensified campaigns to create awareness and sensitize residents on thedisease ahead of the next week’s certification exercise.
Kivuva said they have mobilized community health workers and held forums in schools and churches to increase theknowledge level on Guinea Worm in preparation for the certification.
” Besides the forums, we have also put upposters to notify people on the disease,” he said.
According to the public health officer, Guineaworm is a long thin white worm that is transmitted through consumingcontaminated water and emerges from the skin mostly on the legs. It has no cureand can only be removed to prevent further spread.
Kivuva said the disease can be preventedthrough boiling of drinking water and cautioned residents against consumingcontaminated water especially from stagnant sources.