Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha has today flagged off a consignment of medical supplies and water equipment donated by UNICEF and the German government worth over Sh120 million to be transported to densely populated areas and refugee camps across the country to help in the fight against cholera.
The CS said that since October last year after a wedding in Kiambu county, over 14 counties in the country have reported 4,186 confirmed cholera cases and 78 deaths.
“The 14 Counties include Nairobi, Kiambu, Nakuru, Uasin Gishu, Kajiado, Murang’a, Machakos, Garissa, Meru, Nyeri, Wajir, Tana River, Kitui and Homa Bay… We welcome the move by stakeholders to donate the equipment,” observed CS Nakhumicha.
The outbreak has since been controlled in the counties of Kajiado, Murang’a, Nyeri, and Uasin Gishu.
The CS revealed that the country has developed a National Multi-Sectoral Cholera Elimination Plan, which has prioritised hotspots based on epidemiological and Water and Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) indicators and has called for strong partnerships to mobilise and deploy necessary resources so as to successfully implement the plan.
“The plan has also adopted a whole government, whole society approach to cholera control, which integrates a combination of interventions including; Coordination, surveillance, WASH, Risk Communication and Community Engagement, Case Management and Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), food safety and water quality control and Oral Cholera Vaccines (OCV),” Nakhumicha said.
Additionally, Nakhumicha has warned those transiting across Kenya and Uganda to observe extreme caution by continuing to strengthen prevention, preparedness, response and resilience capacities as learnt from Uganda which had reported an Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak on September 19 last year and declared the end of the outbreak two-weeks ago.
“We are calling upon the public to ensure they observe hygiene and safety precaution so as to avoid similar outbreaks in the country,” argued the CS.
To ensure a better response to future public health emergencies since the Ebola Virus outbreak, Nakhumicha stated that the ministry is also expecting a cholera vaccine donation consignment from partners so as to help fight the soaring disease.